At the end of last year Google Trends showed a spike in searches about machines “taking over”, just as it had done when 1999’s The Matrix was released and 2014’s Ex Machina.

The spike is believed to be due to the increased presence of conversational assistants like Siri and Alexa that have given us an idea of what basic artificial intelligence can do.

However, the popular fear may in fact be unwarranted. In a recent poll, experts asked on the subject almost unanimously agree that A.I. will not take over in our lifetime.

A.I. thought leader Adelyn Zhou has published a paper that aims to prove that true artificial intelligence (and more so, “a machine uprising”) is over two hundred years away at least – beyond the scope of our lifetime or our successors.

The paper cites the “physical irreducibility of conscious experience” as one of the larger problems researchers must solve, which may require large scale overhauls in our scientific framework.

Computer scientist and commentator Martin. F. Robbins agreed with the paper on his blog The Raising Hal

It has taken over a hundred years to develop a machine that can learn to play the Japanese board game GO, it stands to reason that creating a conscious one should take at least double that.

NFN's Oliver Frost contributed to this report.