Bainbridge Survey

A survey of twenty-six technology experts in 2005 produced a median of 2085 as the year in which artificial intelligence would be able to functionally replicate a human brain (p344). They rated this application 5.6/10 in beneficialness to humanity.


In 2005 William Bainbridge reported on a survey of 26 contributors to Converging Technologies reports. The contributors were asked when a large number of applications would be developed, and how beneficial they would be (see Appendix 1). The survey produced 2085 as the median year in which “the computing power and scientific knowledge will exist to build machines that are functionally equivalent to the human brain” (p344). The participants rated this development 5.6 out of 10 in beneficialness.


Bainbridge’s participants are contributors to ‘converging technology’ reports, which are on topics of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive science. From looking at what appears to be one of these reports, these seem to be mostly experts from government and national laboratories, academia, and the private sector. Few work in AI in particular. For instance, an arbitrary sample includes the Director of the Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences at the National Science Foundation, a person from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and a person from HP laboratories.

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