AI will likely lead to seismic changes to the workforce, eliminating many professions and requiring a societal rethink of how people spend their time, prominent tech leaders said Tuesday. From a report: Speaking at The Wall Street Journal's Tech Live conference on Tuesday, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said that the changes could hit some people in the economy more seriously than others, even if society as a whole improves. This will likely be a hard sell for the most affected people, he said. "We are really going to have to do something about this transition," said Altman, who added that society will have to confront the speed at which the change happens. "People need to have agency, the ability to influence. We need to jointly be architects of the future." Artificial intelligence is expected to transform the global economy by driving gains in both productivity and growth. But economists and tech entrepreneurs are divided on how quickly this shift could -- and should -- happen.
Earlier Tuesday, Vinod Khosla, a prominent venture capitalist whose firm was one of OpenAI's earliest backers, laid out a stark timeline for AI's transformation of work. Within 10 years AI will be able to "do 80% of 80% of all jobs that we know of today," said Khosla, a tech investor and entrepreneur for more than 40 years. He pointed to many types of physicians and accountants as examples of professions that AI could largely supplant because these systems can more easily access a broad array of knowledge. Khosla likened the extent of the workforce changes to the disappearance of agricultural jobs in the U.S. in the 20th Century -- a transition that took place over generations, not years.