The Jobless AI Future Is Still a Long Way Off
Tech billionaire Elon Musk recently prophesied that there “will come a point where no job is needed,” owing to advances in artificial intelligence. But the fear that AI will cause mass unemployment is rooted in a zero-sum mentality that fundamentally misunderstands how economies evolve.
WASHINGTON, DC – In a recent discussion with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, tech billionaire Elon Musk prophesied that there “will come a point where no job is needed,” owing to advances in artificial intelligence. “You can have a job if you want a job,” continued the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, “but AI will be able to do everything.”
The future is long, and Musk did not specify when exactly this point will come. But, at least for the next several decades, the odds of AI causing a jobs apocalypse are vanishingly small.
Fear of technological unemployment is nothing new. In the early nineteenth century, a group of English textile workers known as the Luddites smashed labor-saving machinery to prevent its use. Yet even though technology has leapt forward in the two centuries since then, businesses continue to employ workers.