"You could probably obsolete maybe 80 percent of jobs that people do, without having an AGI."

Big Shoes

The guy responsible both for Sophia the Robot and for popularizing the term "artificial general intelligence" — as in the much-discussed concept of AGI — has a prediction that's as bold as some of his fashion choices.

In an interview with France's AFP news wire, Brazilian-American AI guru Ben Goertzel — perhaps known as much for his leopard print cowboy hat worn over his long curly hair as his advances in machine learning — affirmed that AI might actually be coming for our jobs, but that's not, to his mind, necessarily a bad thing.

"You could probably obsolete maybe 80 percent of jobs that people do, without having an AGI, by my guess," he told the news wire during the recent Web Summit conference in Rio de Janeiro. "Not with ChatGPT exactly as a product. But with systems of that nature, which are going to follow in the next few years."


The cowboy hat-donning guru is far from alone in his prediction, but instead of looking at AI as a threat to jobs, he sees it as a potential net good. That's not exactly surprising given that Goertzel not only popularized the term AGI, but is also actively working towards creating it with his blockchain-based SingularityNET project (because of course a guy who wears that hat is into crypto).

"I don't think it's a threat. I think it's a benefit. People can find better things to do with their life than work for a living," Goertzel said. "Pretty much every job involving paperwork should be automatable."

Unlike many crypto and/or AI bros, however, Goertzel is at least willing to concede that there are limits to his omnipotence.

"The problem I see is in the interim period, when AIs are obsoleting one human job after another," he told AFP. "I don't know how [to] solve all the social issues."

More on AI vs. human workers: IBM Replacing 7,800 Human Jobs With AI, Including Human Resources

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