Former Google China CEO Reaffirms: AI to take 50% of jobs by 2027

Former Google China CEO Reaffirms: AI to take 50% of jobs by 2027

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When OpenAI was a nonprofit company developing chatbots, Kai-Fu Lee foresaw the current AI zeitgeist.

Venture capitalist Kai-Fu Lee recognized the disruptive potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in the labor market years before OpenAI’s ChatGPT demonstrated this technology’s capabilities to the world.

In 2017, the chief executive and chairman of Sinovation Ventures asserted that artificial intelligence (AI) would surpass humankind’s past technological advancements, such as the internet and electricity, and that AI would be far more powerful than humans.

In a 2018 interview with IEEE Spectrum, he noted that AI would still replace about half of us in the workforce even though humans possessed many talents and skills that AI was unlikely to match.

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Kai-Fu Lee stated that “most jobs are repetitive,” citing “fruit picking, assembly-line work, truck driving, telemarketing, dishwashing, and so on.”

He continued by expressing his opinion that artificial intelligence (AI) will eventually overtake electricity and the Internet as key technologies.

Reaffirming his prediction

Lee told CNBC then that this would be in every industry; AI would probably replace 50% of human jobs, create massive wealth for humanity, and wipe out poverty. He later projected that it would occur within the next ten years. “These are things that are superhuman,” Lee continued.

Seven years later, in March of this year, he spoke with Fortune editor-in-chief Alyson Shontell at the Fortune Innovation Forum in Hong Kong.

When she questioned whether his prediction still held actual three years from now, he said, “It’s uncannily accurate.” In 2017, 2018, and 2019, I received criticism for being overly assertive, even though I felt a little uneasy then. 

However, since the release of Gen AI, everyone has jumped on board and is moving at the right pace.

Lee continued, describing AI as a very significant issue that some countries have started realizing needs to be addressed and predicting that it will likely eliminate white-collar jobs faster than blue-collar jobs.

He stated that the first thing people should do is “stop this nonsense about kids using ChatGPT to cheat,” in response to what parents should teach their children about their future careers.

He claimed that the chatbot is just another tool, similar to Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop, since it can respond to questions on various subjects in natural language.

Harnessing AI

Lee said, “Bosses will look at the end product of their work when kids grow up, enter the workforce, and are evaluated on their performance—not whether they used ChatGPT or Google search.”

“We need to encourage people to harness AI and use all the tools so they can be the best they can be,” he stated. “Also, it’s a great guide to what things they can aspire to and what things are not worth following.”

Though machines will never have souls, Lee maintains that there is something special about humanity. “We are empathetic and compassionate. We are emotional beings with the capacity for love. We possess the capacity to interact with others, produce trust, and win trust.

He said the ability to gain the trust of others is actually more valuable than any technical or business ability. This trust is earned through sharing, teamwork, authenticity, and a high emotional quotient.

Is it possible for AI to fake it? Indeed. Do I believe that, at the very least, for the next 50 years, people will accept fake AI? No. Thus, Lee explained, “That’s enough time for your kids to survive and figure out what their kids’ next step is.”

According to Kai-Fu Lee, China will eventually surpass the rest of the world in artificial intelligence technology. This belief is the framework for his predictions of AI.

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Phillip Scarbrough
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Phillip Scarbrough

Phillip Scarbrough, a prominent figure in crypto analysis, brilliantly navigates the labyrinth of blockchain technology. With a knack for distilling complex subjects into comprehensible prose, Phillip's articles enlighten a vast audience about the crypto universe. As digital currencies evolve, his seasoned insights remain invaluable to readers worldwide.

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