AI Visionary Says Artificial General Intelligence Can Take Away 80% of Human Jobs

A top AI researcher has said artificial intelligence could replace 80 percent of human jobs in the future. According to US-Brazilian researcher Ben Goertzel, artificial general intelligence (AGI) is "just years away" from disrupting the world as we know it now.

"If we want machines to really be as smart as people and to be as agile in dealing with the unknown, then they need to be able to take big leaps beyond their training and programming. And we're not there yet. But I think there's reason to believe we're years rather than decades from getting there, Goertzel said, according to Agence France-Presse.

Dr. Ben Goertzel
Dr. Ben Goertzel Wikimedia Commons / Raj Dye

Who is Goertzel?

Goertzel, a cognitive scientist and artificial intelligence researcher founded SingularityNET, which is doing research in AGI. He is a Brazilian-American with Jewish heritage. He graduated from Bard College at Simon's Rock in Quantitative Studies. SingularityNET works in the field of combining artificial intelligence and blockchain, with an aim to 'democratizing access to artificial intelligence'.

What is AGI?

AGI visualizes the ability of algorithms to do most of the human tasks in a better way. As per Microsoft Research, with GPT-4, AI will hit the level when it can accomplish this task. This is how Wired describes AGI. "No concrete definition of the term exists. So, how do these researchers describe it? They focus on the algorithm doing better than most humans at standardized tests, like the bar exam. They also focus on the wide variety of stuff the algorithm can do, from simplistic drawing to complex coding."

Artificial Intelligence

What is Goertzel Saying?

Goertzel says that ChatGPT itself may not take away a large chunk of the human jobs, but the systems that will emerge in the future will definitely do so. "You could probably obsolete maybe 80 percent of jobs that people do, without having an AGI, by my guess. Not with ChatGPT exactly as a product. But with systems of that nature, which are going to follow in the next few years," he says.

He also believes that this will in a way help the humans. IN his view, when AGI takes over, people will be able to do better things in life than work for a living. However, in the immediate aftermath, there will be some element of social strife to account for. "The problem I see is in the interim period, when AIs are obsoleting one human job after another... I don't know how (to) solve all the social issues," he says.


What are the Limitations of AI Systems Now?

According to Goertzel, though the current AI systems are great, they have specific limitations as well. "These are very interesting AI systems, but they're not capable of becoming like human level general intelligences, because they can't do complex multi-stage reasoning, like you need to do science. They can't invent wild new things outside the scope of their training data," he says.