While Elon Musk Says Artificial Intelligence Will End Jobs, But Not Everyone Agrees

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Following the Artificial Intelligence (AI) summit at Bletchley Park, PM Rishi Sunak and CEO of Tesla Elon Musk dived into a discussion on AI’s impact on jobs at Lancaster House, London. 

In this conversation, Musk stated that artificial intelligence has the potential to become the “most disruptive force in history.”

Overall, he believes that AI will eventually lead to the elimination of jobs. In the future, according to Musk, there will no longer be a need to have a job. Having a job will be simply for personal satisfaction as everything will already be automated by AI. 

READ: UK’s Older Generation at Risk of Losing Jobs to AI

Elon Musk on Artificial Intelligence

Elon Musk has voiced his opinions on the potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the job market. The tech mogul, at the helm of Tesla and SpaceX, with ties to X (formerly Twitter) and the newly launched AI startup xAI, shared his insights at a recent event held at Lancaster House, a venue associated with the UK government. 

During his speech, he emphasised that AI could emerge as the “most disruptive force in history.”

Musk explained that a time will come when AI surpasses human intelligence, though he acknowledged the challenge of pinpointing exactly when this tipping point will occur. 

In such a scenario, conventional employment might no longer be necessary, and individuals might opt to work mainly for personal fulfilment, given that AI will be proficient at handling a wide array of tasks.

Injecting some humour into the discussion, Musk questioned whether the idea of AI taking over most tasks should be viewed as comforting or unsettling, prompting laughs from the audience. 

To illustrate the complex nature of AI advancement, he likened it to a boundless genie capable of granting an unlimited number of wishes, without the typical three-wish limitations, highlighting the blend of promise and challenges it presents.

Looking ahead, one of the core challenges will be finding meaning and purpose in life as society adapts to this transformative technological landscape. This shift may prompt a reevaluation of the role of work and the significance of personal fulfilment in a world where AI plays an increasingly prominent role.

AI Skills and Salaries

A study by the Oxford Internet Institute and the Center for Social Data Science at the University of Copenhagen reveals that artificial intelligence (AI) skills can significantly boost salaries

Workers with AI skills command wages 21% above the average, potentially rising to 40%. The key factor driving this income increase is the complementarity of AI skills with other valuable competencies.

The study, which analysed 962 skills across 25,000 workers, found that the economic value of a skill is closely tied to how well it can be combined with other competencies. Cutting-edge technologies, especially AI, play a substantial role in shaping skill values, with programming languages and data science ranking as highly valuable. 

For more on the study by OII, head to the article linked here.

The top five AI skills in terms of economic value as a percentage increase in hourly wages are Machine Learning (+40%), Tensor Flow (+38%), Deep Learning (+27%), Natural Language Processing (+19%), and Data Science (+17%).

Dr Fabian Stephany from the Oxford Internet Institute highlights the importance of recognizing complementary skills in a rapidly changing labour market. The findings indicate that the more versatile a skill is in combination with others, the higher its value. 

This insight carries profound implications for individuals, businesses, and policymakers, guiding reskilling efforts in times of technological evolution.

READ: AI in Hiring: Should Job Seekers Use ChatGPT for Job Applications?

PM Rishi Sunak on AI

Contrary to Musk, in a recent speech about the future of AI, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak highlighted the importance of seeing AI as a “co-pilot” in the workplace rather than a threat to jobs. He emphasised that AI’s role goes beyond just automating tasks; it should be viewed as a collaborative partner.

While acknowledging that AI, like the Industrial Revolution, will bring changes to the job market, Sunak also noted that these technological advancements ultimately lead to greater prosperity and productivity. However, he recognised that such changes would require adaptation in the job market.

To protect workers, Sunak stressed the significance of a strong education system. He acknowledged the difficulty of predicting the exact evolution of every job and emphasised that a world-class education system is the best way to ensure that everyone can benefit from AI and other technological advancements.

Sunak’s speech, delivered ahead of the AI Summit at Bletchley Park, aimed to address concerns and fears related to AI. He highlighted potential risks, such as the misuse of AI in weapon development or by terrorist groups.

In response to these challenges, Sunak announced the launch of a new AI Safety Institute, which will focus on researching and testing new AI technologies. This development follows a report from the government’s Science, Innovation, and Technology Committee, which recommended the introduction of legislation to keep the UK competitive in AI governance. The report emphasised the need for effective governance frameworks to prevent other jurisdictions from setting default standards.

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