Elon Musk says AI will take all our jobs

Elon Musk says AI will take all our jobs

Elon Musk says artificial intelligence will take all our jobs and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“Maybe none of us will have a job,” Musk said of AI at a technology conference on Thursday.

Speaking remotely via webcam at VivaTech 2024 in Paris, Musk described a future where work will be “optional.”

“If you want to do a job that’s a bit like a hobby, you can do a job,” Musk said. “But instead, AI and robots will provide any goods and services you want.”

For this scenario to succeed, he says, there needs to be a “universal high income” — not to be confused with a universal basic income, though he doesn’t share what that looks like. (UBI refers to the government giving a certain amount of money to everyone regardless of their income.)

“There will be no shortage of goods or services,” he said.

AI capabilities have exploded in recent years, fast enough that regulators, companies and consumers are still figuring out how to use the technology responsibly. Concerns also continue to grow about how various industries and jobs will change as AI rapidly expands in the marketplace.

In January, researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory found that workplaces are adopting AI more slowly than some had expected and feared. The report also said the majority of jobs previously identified as vulnerable to AI were not economically viable for employers to automate at the time.

Experts also largely believe that many jobs that require high emotional intelligence and human interaction will not need to be replaced, such as mental health professionals, creatives and teachers.

Musk has been vocal about his concerns about AI. During Thursday’s keynote, he called technology his biggest fear. He cited the “Culture Book Series” by Ian Banks, a fictional utopian view of a society run by advanced technology, as the most realistic and “the best foreshadowing of future AI.”

However, in a future without jobs, Musk questions whether people will feel emotionally fulfilled.

“The question is really meaningful – if computers and robots can do everything better than you, is your life meaningful?” he said. “I think there may still be a role for humans in this — because we can give meaning to AI.”

He also used his stage time to urge parents to limit the amount of social media kids can see because “they’re being programmed by dopamine-maximizing AI.”

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