No one is safe: Elon Musk predicts AI is coming for all our jobs

Elon Musk has warned that artificial intelligence could render almost all jobs obsolete – but all might not be as bleak as it seems.

Mr Musk, 52, shared that gloomy premonition at VivaTech 2024 in Paris as AI’s burgeoning capabilities continue to face criticsim.

“Probably none of us will have a job,” the Tesla CEO said candidly while harnessing the power of his webcam to speak remotely at the tech conference on Thursday.

Before the audience could fret about being out of work indefinitely thanks to semi-sentient machines, Mr Musk hinted that jobs which require creativity and emotional intelligence may still be safe.

“If you want to do a job that’s kinda like a hobby, you can do a job,” he said.

“But otherwise, AI and the robots will provide any goods and services that you want,” he added.

While AI might render the need for human labor useless, there could be a silver lining to Mr Musk’s vision of the future. He said that the government would need to implement universal high income, opposed to universal basic income (UBI).

Elon Musk spoke virtually at Paris’ VivaTech 2024 on Thursday
Elon Musk spoke virtually at Paris’ VivaTech 2024 on Thursday (Getty Images)

UBI refers to a social welfare programme whereby all adult citizens regularly receive a set amount of income without needing to work.

“In some sense, it’ll be somewhat of a leveller, an equaliser,” he said without explicitly describing how.

“There would be no shortage of goods or services,” he continued.

Depsite being one of the founders and initial board members of Open AI – the company behind ChatGPT – alongside Sam Altman, Mr Musk has become a fierce critic in the debate surrounding the regulation of AI.

Last month, the tech tycoon expressed his fears over superhuman artificial intelligence that is smarter than anyone on Earth, which he insisted could exist next year.

Only its increasing demands for power and a shortage of AI training chips could limit its capability in the near term, Mr Musk said.

Posing an existential question, Mr Musk asked: “If the computer and robots can do everything better than you, does your life have meaning?”

In a reverse of roles, he predicted that humans will in fact have a purpose: to “give AI meaning.”

Mr Musk also issued a warning about limiting the amount of social media that children can see, explaining that “they’re being programmed by a dopamine-maximising AI”.

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