Wednesday, September 27, 2023
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IBM CEO Arvind Krishna says population decline could quell fears AI will take jobs

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna has soothed fears of AI stealing jobs by pointing to the shrinking working-age population.

Giving people to do routine tasks that AI can do “is not an option” given the recession in developing economies around the world, he said. “We’re going to need technology to do some of the mundane jobs so that people can take on higher-value jobs.” Ultimately, he added, artificial intelligence “is going to create jobs” because areas that create more value also add jobs . His comments in a Nikkei interview published on Saturday were similar to those made this week by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who was on Wednesday. “It’s true,” Schmidt said. “We don’t have enough kids… All the demographics point to a shortage of jobs. There will literally be too many jobs and not enough people for at least the next 30 years.”

Jobs lost to AI

Schmidt believes that while job losses may be inevitable in the short term, AI will have an overall positive impact because Efficiency increases, and the technology can replace occupations that have become increasingly difficult to fill in a shrinking labor market. Goldman Sachs estimated in March that while AI may lead to new jobs and a productivity boom, it could soon displace the equivalent of 300 million jobs in the US and Europe. If AI does end up helping society in the long run while making it difficult for many in the short run, it won’t be the first technological innovation. MIT economics professor Daron Acemoglu told the Financial Times this week that while the Industrial Revolution did bring progress, “you also paid a huge and very Enduring costs. For a century, conditions for working people have been harsher, with lower real wages, poorer health and living conditions, less autonomy, and higher levels.” As AI threatens many of today’s white-collar jobs, he believed America needed a strong labor relations movement. “We need to create an environment where workers have a voice,” he said, suggesting a system more like Germany’s – where the public and private sectors and labor work together – rather than the more controversial company-by-company approach of the United States. A few months ago, Acemoglu signed an open letter with Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak calling for a moratorium on the use of algorithms that are more advanced than OpenAI’s GPT-4. Powerful artificial intelligence tools. Part of the letter reads: “ Should we automate all jobs, including satisfactory jobs? Should we develop non-human minds that may eventually overtake us, overtake us, obsolete us and replace us? We should risk losing control of our civilization Shouldn’t such decisions be delegated to unelected technological leaders. Robust AI systems should only be developed when we are confident their impact will be positive and their risks manageable.” Meanwhile, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said on a tour with European leaders: “The idea that AI will evolve to a point where humans have no job to do or no purpose has never resonated. Me.”

“Power will shift”

Then, in March 2021, before most people are aware of ChatGPT or OpenAI (now worth nearly $30 billion), Altman wrote in a lengthy blog post: “My work at OpenAI reminds me every day that socioeconomic change occurs earlier than most people think. Software that thinks and learns will do more and more of the work that people do now. More power will shift from labor to capital. If public policy does not adjust accordingly, most people will end up worse off than they are now ’” In 2019, Altman co-founded Worldcoin, a cryptocurrency startup involving eye-scanning recognition. If AI takes too many jobs and governments decide they need a universal basic income, Worldcoin wants to be the distribution mechanism for those payments. For now, it’s aiming to be a way for people to prove they’re real people and not AI bots online. The company announced a $115 million Series C funding round this week. Krishna recently said that IBM would slow or suspend hiring for non-client-facing roles, currently about 26,000 employees. He added, “I could easily see 30% of them being replaced by artificial intelligence and automation within five years.”

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