Artificial intelligence is leaving us jobless. Elon Musk: “None of us will probably have a job”

Elon Musk says artificial intelligence will take all our jobs, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Elon Musk PHOTO: Shutterstock

Probably none of us will have a job anymore.” Musk said about artificial intelligence at a technology conference on Thursday, writes

At VivaTech 2024 in Paris, Musk described a future where jobs will be “optional”.

“If you want to do a job that's kind of a hobby, you can do a job,” Musk said. “But otherwise, AI and robots will provide whatever goods and services you want.”

For this scenario to work, he said, there would need to be a “high universal income” — not to be confused with universal basic income, though he did not share what that might look like. (UBI refers to the government giving a certain amount of money to everyone, regardless of how much they earn).

“There would be no shortage of goods or services,” he said.

AI capabilities have skyrocketed in recent years, fast enough that regulators, businesses and consumers are still figuring out how to use the technology responsibly. Concerns also continue to grow about how various industries and jobs will change as AI proliferates in the marketplace.

In January, researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory found that workplaces are adopting AI much more slowly than some had expected and feared. The report also stated that most of the jobs previously identified as vulnerable to AI were not economically advantageous for employers to automate at that time.

Experts also largely believe that many jobs that require high emotional intelligence and human interaction will not need to be replaced, such as mental health professionals, creatives and teachers.

Musk has been open about his concerns about AI. During Thursday's speech, he called technology his biggest fear. He cited the series “Culture Book Series” by Ian Banks, a utopian fictional look at a society driven by advanced technology, as the most realistic and “the best image of a future AI“.

Still, in a future without jobs, Musk wondered if people would feel emotionally fulfilled.

“The question will really be one of meaning – if computers and robots can do everything better than you, does your life have meaning?”, he said. “I think maybe there's still a role for humans in this – in the sense that we could make sense of artificial intelligence.”

He also used his time on stage to urge parents to limit the amount of social media their children can see because “they're programmed by a dopamine-maximizing AI.”