Tech company warns of AI risks but deploys chatbot service

Governments need to think now about how to support the jobs lost. Is universal basic income a solution?
Ameya Paleja
The deployment of AI will be accompanied by a massive job loss
The deployment of AI will be accompanied by a massive job loss


The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is a major threat to white-collar workers and will create a "serious number of losers" in the coming decade, the co-founder of DeepMind, Mustafa Suleyman, has warned. Suleyman was with DeepMind, the company that Google acquired to advance AI, until last year.

After the glorious reception to conversational chatbot ChatGPT, businesses across the board have been eager to embrace AI into their processes. With promises to increase productivity, AI could impact 80 percent of the jobs in the U.S. and European Union, a Goldman Sachs report said in March this year.

Suleyman, however, painted a bleaker picture and said that a large number of people would be "very unhappy, very agitated" with the job losses that will come in as a result of AI deployment.

AI deployment and job loss

The capabilities of AI, such as writing, paraphrasing, or even writing code, have far-reaching effects on jobs on offer today. In the early stages, the technology could serve as an aid to workers, but as it gets better, it will be used to replace humans.

Interesting Engineering reported last week on how the airline industry has embraced technology to reduce the number of members in the cockpit. With the rise of AI, the industry is now considering one pilot flights, something that goes against the norm but follows a decade-long trend.

Tech company warns of AI risks but deploys chatbot service
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The deployment of AI across industrial sectors is expected to have a similar ripply effect, and Suleyman has warned that it could lead to a lot of agitated and unhappy people. Estimates suggest that as many as 300 million jobs are exposed to AI automation.

In such a scenario, Suleyman suggests that governments need to start thinking about how they will support jobs that will be lost. One of the potential solutions to the problem would be providing a universal basic income, something others in the tech industry have also spoken of before. According to Suleyman, this is "material compensation" and a "political and economic measure" about which serious discussions need to begin right away.

DeepMind, the company Suleyman co-founded was acquired by Google in 2014, has been working on developing its own language models like LaMDA and PaLM. According to Suleyman, Google was way ahead of ChatGPT and will dominate the fight to develop AI tools.

Suleyman, himself left DeepMind last year to start his own chatbot company, Inflection AI, which launched its chatbot Pi last week, FT said in its report.

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