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Elon Musk Warns AI Will Eliminate Jobs Calls It His Biggest Fear

Photo : Reuters

New Delhi: Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has made a bold prediction about the future of work in the age of artificial intelligence (AI). Speaking remotely via webcam at the Viva Tech event in Paris, Musk stated that AI capabilities have advanced so rapidly in recent years that they will eventually render traditional jobs obsolete. However, he suggests this could be a positive development rather than a negative one.

"Probably none of us will have a job," Musk remarked during his keynote address. He envisions a future where employment becomes optional, allowing people to engage in work more as a hobby than a necessity. According to Musk, AI and robots will be capable of providing all the goods and services society requires, making traditional employment redundant.

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For this transition to be successful, Musk believes that a system of "universal high income" will be necessary. He clarified that this concept should not be confused with universal basic income (UBI), which involves the government providing a set amount of money to all citizens regardless of their income. Although Musk did not delve deeply into the specifics of how universal high income would work, his comments suggest a need for a robust social safety net to support those displaced by AI.

Musk reassured that there would be no shortage of goods or services in this AI-driven future. However, he also expressed concerns about the potential impact on human meaning and fulfillment. He questioned whether people would feel emotionally satisfied in a world where machines perform all tasks more efficiently than humans.

"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 pondered. Despite these concerns, he proposed that humans might still play a vital role in giving AI its purpose and meaning.

During his speech, Musk referenced the "Culture Book Series" by Iain M. Banks, a science fiction depiction of a utopian society governed by advanced technology, as the most realistic vision of an AI-driven future. He described this series as "the best envisioning of a future AI."

In addition to discussing the broader implications of AI, Musk advised parents to monitor and limit their children's use of social media. He pointed out that social media platforms are often driven by algorithms designed to maximize user engagement through dopamine stimulation, which can be harmful, especially to young minds.

The rapid advancement of AI has raised concerns among industry experts about its potential to transform various sectors and eliminate jobs. While some fear widespread unemployment, others believe that jobs requiring high emotional intelligence and human interaction—such as mental health professionals, creatives, and teachers—are less likely to be replaced by AI.

A report from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab in January highlighted that the adoption of AI in workplaces is progressing more slowly than anticipated. The report noted that many jobs previously thought vulnerable to AI automation are not yet economically feasible for companies to replace.

Despite the slow adoption rate, the transformative potential of AI remains a significant topic of discussion. As AI continues to evolve, society must navigate the challenges and opportunities it presents to ensure a future where technology benefits all.

May 24, 2024 10:16 a.m. 545

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