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OpenAI engineer concedes it’s ‘deeply unfair’ how AI can ‘take everyone’s job away’

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In a moment laden with irony, an OpenAI engineer has stated it is “deeply unfair” that he and his peers are building artificial intelligence (AI) models capable of decimating the labor market, adding there is little chance of stopping the momentum.

With the rise of AI and the proliferation of rapidly evolving technology, there are genuine concerns in the workplace that certain roles will be redundant within a few years. These themes were prevalent when Microsoft conducted its 2023 Annual Work Trend Index.

In the survey, just under half of the 31,000 respondents said they believed AI would have an impact on their job security.

The question was addressed in a resurfaced interview highlighted in recent days by The Atlantic, but those contributing to the reduction of need for human workers in some areas, have seemingly shrugged their shoulders as if they are helpless to effect the direction of travel.

The comments were perhaps meant to sound emphatic, but the outcome is the reinforcement of AI as an unstoppable force.

Why AI needs effective regulation

In the video, Brian Wu, an OpenAI engineer stated, “It’s kind of deeply unfair that, you know, a group of people can just build AI and take everyone’s jobs away, and in some sense, there’s nothing you can do to stop them right now.”

As well as acknowledging the situation and their role in contributing to it, Wu asked people to “think about what to do in a world where labor is obsolete.” 

Is this the future? A society with limited need for jobs and employment, and the masses seeking other pursuits for purpose and fulfillment? It could well be, to some extent.

Such a dystopian situation is not around the corner, but it should focus minds on the need to safely regulate AI, to ensure its advantages are harnessed but not to let its power go unchecked and unrestrained.

Wu sounded resigned yet cautious about what should happen next, “I don’t know,” he opined.

“Raise awareness, get governments to care, get other people to care.” Then a long pause. “Yeah. Or join us and have one of the few remaining jobs. I don’t know. It’s rough.” 

Image credit: Ideogram

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