“None Of Us Will Have A Job”: Elon Musk Calls AI His “Biggest Fear”

UK Government hosts AI Summit at Bletchley Park
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Elon Musk said that AI capabilities have advanced rapidly over the past few years, advancing so quick that regulators, companies, and users are still figuring out how to utilize the technology responsibly. According to a report by CNN, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, said that artificial intelligence is going to eventually take away every job, and that’s not a “terrible thing.” He said so as he was speaking over a webcam at the Viva Tech event in Paris on Thursday, where he predicted his imagined driverless future, where jobs would be “optional.”

He said, “If you want to do a job that’s kinda like a hobby, you can do a job.” The entrepreneur added, however, that otherwise, “AI and the robots will provide any goods and services that you want.” To make this into a reality, Musk further said, there would need to be “universally high income,” although he was quick to point out that this is not to be “confused with universal basic income.” Musk didn’t actually elaborate much more on that concept. UBI refers to the government providing a fixed amount of money to all citizens of a nation, irrespective of their earnings.

“Goods and services will be incredibly cheap. There will be plausible quality, almost everything will be done by robot. The quality will be high, the choices will be abundant,” Musk said. He added that AI capabilities have advanced rapidly over the past few years, advancing so fast that regulators, companies, and users had not learned how to use the technology responsibly.

Not long ago, Musk, given his concern with AI, called the “biggest threat.” In a Thursday keynote, he said the technology was his “biggest fear.” He then highlighted “Culture Book Series” by Ian Banks as the most realistic version, which described a society controlled by advanced technology, and, in his mind, “the best envisioning of the future AI.” He asked if people could find emotional fulfillment in the long run in a society where no one had jobs.

“The question will really be one of meaning — if the computer and robots can do everything better than you, does your life have meaning?” Musk said. “I do think there’s perhaps still a role for humans in this — in that we may give AI meaning.” He also said parents should control and restrict how much of the platforms their children used since they are “being programmed by a dopamine-maximizing AI.”

As AI continues to take over the market, industry experts continue to raise different concerns about how the sectors and jobs will be impacted. In January, researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab brought forward some work they had done, showing that workplace adoption of AI is not as swift as some experts had predicted and feared. The report also showed that many jobs previously described as vulnerable or at risk from AI were not economically viable for employers to use AI to automate at the time of that earlier study.

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