Alphabet Inc. GOOG GOOGL and Google CEO Sundar Pichai believes that artificial intelligence will “touch everything: every sector, every industry, every aspect of our lives.”
What Happened: Pichai said that he thinks AI “will touch everything” and that “big societal labor market disruptions” will happen, during an interview with The Verge that was published on Friday.
However, the Google CEO also thinks that AI could make several jobs “better” if implemented correctly. Pichai cited the legal profession as an example, saying that, even with technological developments, the need for certain skills and services will not be eliminated altogether.
“So, A.I. will make the profession better in certain ways, might have some unintended consequences, but I’m willing to almost bet 10 years from now, maybe there are more lawyers,” Pichai said.
“The underlying reasons why law exists and legal systems exist aren’t going to go away, because those are humanity’s problems,” he added.
Pichai compared the job anxieties caused by AI to those caused by the dawn of the personal computer, the internet and mobile phones, and said that an AI “platform shift” is underway.
“Twenty years ago, when people exactly predicted what tech automation would do, there are very specific pronouncements of entire job categories which would go away. That hasn’t fully played out,” Pichai said.
He, however, said “it’s not exactly clear” to him how AI will affect future jobs. “I do think there are big societal labor market disruptions that will happen, Pichai said, adding, “Governments need to be involved. There needs to be adaptations. Skilling is going to be important. But I think we shouldn’t underestimate the beneficial side of some of these things, too.”
Why It Matters: The impact of AI on the labor force is a subject of much debate. And Pichai isn’t the only tech CEO who thinks AI will have a major impact on the labor force.
A few days ago, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna announced a hiring pause and stated that the company plans to replace about 8,000 jobs with AI. Machines may replace up to 30% of non-customer-facing roles in the next five years as a result of the gradual transition, which means employees in the financial, accounting, human resources and other fields will likely face intense competition from automated systems.
Last month, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates praised OpenAI‘s AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT and said that it could essentially “change our world.” Gates added, “Until now, artificial intelligence could read and write, but could not understand the content. The new programs like ChatGPT will make many office jobs more efficient by helping to write invoices or letters.”
Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons