Instead of these four categories, “AI will increasingly replace repetitive jobs. Not just for blue-collar work but a lot of white-collar work,” Lee explains, predicting that 40 percent of jobs in the world will become “displaceable” by technology.
“Basically chauffeurs, truck drivers anyone who does driving for a living their jobs will be disrupted more in the 15- to 20-year time frame and many jobs that seem a little bit complex, chef, waiter, a lot of things will become automated, we’ll have automated stores, automated restaurants.”
Today’s artificial intelligence is not has good as you hope and not as bad as you fear, but humanity is accelerating into a future that few can predict. That’s way so many people are desperate to meet @KaiFuLee—the “Oracle of A.I.”
The difference between the robot revolution and other revolutions that have disrupted the labor markets is the rate of change, says Lee.
“The invention of the steam engine, the sewing machine, electricity, have all displaced jobs. And we’ve gotten over it. The challenge of AI is this 40 percent, whether it is 15 or 25 years, is coming faster than the previous revolutions,” he said on “60 Minutes.”
And it is the role of the government and of those companies who reap the most rewards from AI to teach workers new skills, says Lee.
“The key then must be retraining the workforce so people can do them. This must be the responsibility not just of the government, which can provide subsidies, but also of corporations and AI’s ultra-wealthy beneficiaries,” Lee says in his Time op-ed.
British billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson has also suggested the spoils of the increased productivity generated by AI should be distributed, potentially even as a cash handout to those negatively affected.
“Obviously AI is a challenge to the world in that there’s a possibility that it will take a lot of jobs away. … It’s up to all of us to be entrepreneurially minded enough to create those new jobs,” Branson told Business Insider Nordic in 2017. “If a lot more wealth is created by AI, the least that the country should be able to do is that a lot of that wealth that is created by AI goes back into making sure that everybody has a safety net.”
Still, even as AI gets better and better at completing tasks for humans, robots will not be able to fully replace humans any time soon, says Lee.
“I believe in the sanctity of our soul. I believe there is a lot of things about us that we don’t understand. I believe there’s a lot of love and compassion that is not explainable in terms of neural networks and computation algorithms,” Lee said on “60 Minutes.”