Depending on who you ask, artificial intelligence will steal more jobs than it creates or vice versa. Few doubt that AI tools like ChatGPT will make some jobs obsolete, but opinions vary widely on the overall long-term impact, even among two of the emerging tech space’s billionaire visionaries.
In the last days, You’re here CEO (and Co-founder of OpenAI) Elon Musk and Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang could not have expressed more different visions of the future of the economy, once AI reaches its full potential.
The two have known each other for years. Huang (net worth: $38.7 billion) is a Tesla customer and interviewed Musk (net worth: $208 billion) on stage at an Nvidia event in 2015, touting Musk’s electric vehicle accomplishments. But since AI exploded onto the scene this year, Nvidia has won new importance thanks to growing demand for its AI chips. Its market capitalization now exceeds $1 trillion, catapulting Tesla, which currently stands at $690 billion.
Musk said in Tesla’s second-quarter results, he says he has “tremendous respect for Jensen and Nvidia” and that his automaker “uses a lot of Nvidia hardware,” adding: “We’ll take Nvidia hardware as fast as Nvidia takes it.” will deliver to us.”
But Musk’s view on AI’s potential to replace humans in jobs is significantly dimmer than Huang’s.
Where are jobs going under AI?
“There will come a time when no work is necessary,” Musk said on Thursday, as he shared the stage with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the (deservedly held) UK AI Security Summit. at Bletchley Park, an English field considered one of the birthplaces of modern computing due to its role in breaking Allied codes during World War II). “You can have a job if you want a job. One of the challenges of the future will be how to find meaning in life.
Calling AI “the most disruptive force in history,” he said we will eventually “have something smarter than the smartest human.”
A few weeks earlier, however, Huang shared his more optimistic view of AI in a interview with the Acquired podcast.
“My feeling is that this will probably generate jobs,” he said. “The first thing that happens with productivity is prosperity. When companies are more successful, they hire more people because they want to expand into more areas.
A common idea, he says, is that if a company improves its productivity using AI, it will employ fewer people. But that assumes a company doesn’t have new ideas, he said, and “that’s not true for most companies.”
As long as there are more areas to grow in – new ideas in transportation, retail, entertainment, technology and drug discovery – the prosperity that comes from improved productivity translates into hiring more people, he believes. He pointed out that today’s industries are bigger than those of a thousand years ago “because, obviously, humans have a lot of ideas.”
Huang thinks some people will lose their jobs because of artificial intelligence, but says it’s more likely they will lose their jobs to another human using AI. “I think jobs will change,” he said, but “my guess is we will actually have more jobs, we will create more jobs.”
The wrinkle of remote work
The difference may come from the fact that Musk generally seems to have a harsher view of employees than Huang. Another area they completely disagree on is remote work. While Elon Musk opposed it – suggesting that remote workers “pretend to work—Huang has no problem with that, telling VentureBeat in 2020 that regardless of how employees choose to mix up their work environments, “I’m perfectly comfortable with all of that.”
And while Musk ruthlessly cut 80% of the workforce Twitter after acquiring the company late last year, at one point mocking a disabled employee who was fired before backpedaling– he quickly faced a wave of lawsuits and other legal actions regarding the benefits owed and the terms of the layoffs – Nvidia avoid the massive layoffs seen elsewhere in the tech industry.
Huang said in the Acquired interview: “I’m afraid of the same things today as at the very beginning of this company which is letting down employees. Many people have joined your company because they believe in your hopes and dreams, and they have adopted them as their hopes and dreams… You want them to be able to build a great life and help you build a beautiful life. business.”