The rise of advanced artificial intelligence will upend the white-collar job market and result in a large number of “very unhappy” workers who will be forced out of their professions, according to a co-founder of the Google-owned AI lab DeepMind.
Mustafa Suleyman, an AI pioneer who left Google last year, joined a growing list of experts – including his former boss, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai – who has warned that rapid advancements in the technology could result in significant job losses.
“Unquestionably, many of the tasks in white-collar land will look very different in the next five to 10 years,” Suleyman said during an event at GIC’s Bridge Forum in San Francisco on Tuesday, according to the Financial Times.
“There are going to be a serious number of losers [and they] will be very unhappy, very agitated,” he added.
Experts say advancements in AI could be a double-edged sword for the global economy – boosting productivity even as they cause radical changes across businesses and industries.
Last month, Goldman Sachs released an analysis stating that AI tools “could drive a 7% (or almost $7 trillion) increase in global GDP and lift productivity growth by 1.5 percentage points over a 10-year period.”
At the same time, the bank warned the technology could put a whopping 300 million full-time jobs at risk of “automation.”
Suleyman asserted that the US and other governments will need to consider ways to support workers who lose their gigs due to AI.
He floated the idea of a universal basic income as one way of addressing the problem – a view he shares with billionaire Elon Musk, who suggested last year it would become necessary as AI and robotics changed labor dynamics.
Suleyman said impacted workers will need “material compensation.”
“This is a political and economic measure we have to start talking about in a serious way,” he added.
Since leaving Google, Suleyman has launched his own chatbot initiative called Inflection AI.
Suleyman’s warning came weeks after Pichai told CBS’s “60 Minutes” that society needs to brace for major changes caused by AI in the coming years.
Pichai admitted that he expects job losses among so-called “knowledge workers,” such as writers, accountants, architects, and software engineers.
Notable critics include the “Godfather of AI” Geoffrey Hinton, who quit his job at Google last month so he could speak freely about the technology’s risks.
Aside from potential job losses, Hinton warned AI was likely to be exploited by “bad actors” for various nefarious purposes.
This story originally appeared on NYPost