"Jobs are definitely going to go away, full stop."
So much for artificial intelligence not coming for our jobs, huh?
In a new interview with The Atlantic, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman chided others in his industry for their rosy-eyed outlook on the future of AI — and appeared to show his hand in the process.
"A lot of people working on AI pretend that it's only going to be good; it's only going to be a supplement; no one is ever going to be replaced," Altman told the magazine. "Jobs are definitely going to go away, full stop."
While this news would be unwelcome to most, the CEO doesn't seem to be too stressed out about it. On balance, he says, a world with AI will be better — though it sounds like he isn't quite sure what that world will look like.
"I don't think we'll want to go back," Altman said
As the Atlantic interviewer noted, one of Altman's examples of jobs in which people would always prefer humans was teaching — an ironic choice given that in the very same interview, he expressed excitement about the prospect of AI tutors that would provide "every child a better education than the best, richest, smartest child receives on Earth today."
None of this is particularly surprising. In the months since ChatGPT was released to the public last fall, people have not only begun worrying tremendously about being replaced by AI, but actually losing their jobs to it, too.
In early June, the executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimated that nearly 4,000 jobs had already been eliminated due to AI, and in March, Goldman Sachs predicted that a whopping 300 million jobs could be lost due to the technology. The very next month, the investment firm, which has bought into AI and encourages its clients to do so, forecasted that AI could raise the gross domestic product by seven percent, which arguably shows where its loyalties lie.
While it would be a stretch to say that Altman doesn't care about people's livelihoods — his other project, Worldcoin, is underpinned by a desire for a crypto-based universal basic income — it's not exactly a great feeling to be told by a tech leader with a net worth estimated between $250 and $500 million that his technology is going to result in job loss.
This is, it seems, the AI revolution — and what comes next is anyone's guess.
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