Past Artificial Intelligence Predictions That Turned Out to Be Way Off

6 min read
Updated: May 01, 2020

Past Artificial Intelligence Predictions That Turned Out to Be Way Off

Artificial intelligence has blossomed in the last few years, making huge advances and gains that happen rapidly. This frontier of new technology is growing by the day but is still nowhere near as pervasive as early predictions assumed it would be. While this technology is sweeping through all the industries at lightning speed, there is still a lot of room for growth and advancement in order to catch up to many of these early predictions. 

Many of the assumptions about artificial intelligence were driven by apprehension and lack of understanding over the depth of this technology and how it would affect daily life. Fears of robots taking over the world and the evaporation of jobs are two of the biggest predictions that have been heard throughout history and while this hasn’t happened yet, there are some indicators that we might in fact be moving toward some of these issues. 

As AI technology continues to progress at a rapid rate, we learn more and more about its functionality with each new innovation and advance. 

Despite the predictions that haven’t yet come to fruition, artificial intelligence has made phenomenal strides in recent years, becoming a pervasive part of everyday life for millions of people the world over. To learn more about this technology, including some of the views and predictions from the past as well as where this technology is headed in the future, read one of the dozens of books available on the subject. 

Cool Things Chicago has a comprehensive list of the best AI books available to get you started as you dive into this exciting new technological frontier. Meanwhile, below are some of the artificial intelligence predictions that turned out to be way off. 

The Takeover of Artificial Intelligence 

Scientists and theorists have been predicting a complete takeover by artificial intelligence for decades now. While this prediction has not yet come to pass, we find ourselves in a world with increasing influence from AI, with even more influence every single day. While we might never truly see a world where artificial intelligence stages a complete takeover, we will see its influence in even more aspects of our daily lives. 

One of the biggest apprehensions expressed in the past is that artificial intelligence would one day surpass the intelligence of humans. We aren’t there yet, but the technology is closer to surpassing the average human intelligence the more it is developed and soon this early prediction might actually become a reality. Despite the fear of superior artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, the fact that these applications need a human hand to maintain and upgrade them will ensure that oversight and influence will always be a necessary part of the technology. 

Automated and Preemptive Policing

Films and movies, as well as theorists and scientists, all predicted a day when criminal justice would be entirely automated, including preemptive policing of people who are expected to commit crimes. This early prediction has not yet come to pass, but this doesn’t mean that it isn’t something to consider as a possibility for the future. In fact, numerous aspects of the criminal justice system are already heavily influenced by artificial intelligence, perhaps more than anyone realizes. 

Facial recognition software and police sketch analysis is all handled by complex algorithms that can pick out the image of a suspect from traffic cameras and security footage no matter how poor the image quality may be. There are even algorithms and applications in use by the criminal justice system that analyze and score inmates on the likelihood that they might be prone to repeat offenses that are used when determining not only prison sentences but also in parole hearings. 

While this is nowhere near the full automation that was expected by early theorists of the artificial intelligence world, it does indicate that we are moving increasingly closer to a world where artificial intelligence is utilized in the criminal justice system, sometimes with mixed results. With every new innovation in technology, the functionality and use of these applications has become even more fine-tuned and accessible. 

Robot Workforces

Another grim prediction that has long gotten the attention of those in the artificial intelligence world is the threat of an entirely robotic workforce across the world. This prediction, like many others, is one colored by fear and apprehension over what this could mean for employment in the future. Thankfully, we are not yet facing a world where every job is done by a robot using artificial intelligence but that does not mean that the fear is wholly unjustified. 

While a number of job opportunities have been downsized or eliminated completely by artificial intelligence applications and tools, there is still a number of areas that have seen job growth because of this technology and its various uses. While traditional retail jobs are on a steady decline, the growth in shipping and driving employment opportunities has grown steadily over the years to offset this drop. 

Automation in factories has also grown exponentially over the years, but all of these industries and workforces still require a human element, albeit a smaller number than in past decades. While we might always have concerns for robots taking over the employment opportunities of the world, for now, this prediction has not yet been realized fully. 

Many predictions have been made throughout the development of artificial intelligence and we are closer than ever to realizing many of these early predictions. Though many of these early assumptions have not come to fruition in the time frame that was theorized, the technological growth of this sector has become increasingly fast-paced and growth happens almost daily in many avenues. 

This exciting and innovative arena is alive with growth and potential that continues to expand in reach with every progression of the technology. New predictions for the future of artificial intelligence in our world are made every day, resulting in an ever-changing landscape of unknowns and excitement. Perhaps one day in the not too distant future we will be living in a world where robots and humans work and live side by side. 


Sophia Rodreguaze


Sophia is the contributing editor at She writes about anything and everything related to technology.

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