OpenAI on The Inevitable Impact of Automation

Artificial intelligence was easily one of the hottest technology topics this year. AI funds were launched and AI research labs were opened and everyone and their mother is now building a self-driving car, or, at the very least, a chatbot through which to order coffee.

An interview by Initialized Capital’s Kim-Mai Cutler with OpenAI’s Jack Clark sheds light on the future of AI, including how automation may affect our workforce.

“Technology increases productivity, but there’s no rule that says it must increase equality,” Clark notes. “We need to have a national and an international conversation about redistribution, about safety nets, about measuring this technology and correctly anticipating its arrival.”

Clark says later-stage learning opportunities must become available so that mid-career workers can effectively switch jobs as automation slowly takes over certain roles.

“Any job that is heavily instrumented, like e-discovery or insurance actuaries or customer service, is built to generate the data that we would need to train an AI system that could do it instead,” he says. “[If I have a company] I may dramatically slow the rate at which I hire new people and instead invest in automation.”

Elon Musk has suggested a universal basic income may be necessary at a later stage of AI’s inevitably takeover.

All in all, AI is exhilarating and perhaps a little scary, but the promise of potential should get anyone with an imagination excited.

“There are breakthroughs lurking out there, in the possibility space of ideas, that we might stumble on which could change everything,” Clark says. “We just don’t know.”

How the Future of Automation Will Affect Human Roles in the Workplace