Artificial Intelligence - Impact on Jobs: Quotes

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Artificial Intelligence - Impact on Jobs: Quotes (Part 2)

We were able to assemble 20 more quotes from recognizable individuals on the subject of AI’s potential impact on jobs. The entire project is here.


We began our inquiry with an examination of blogs, news sites, and databases concerned with advanced technology and artificial intelligence. From there we were able to assemble a series of quotes about the impact of AI on jobs from recognizable individuals in the industry.

Artificial Intelligence — Impact on Jobs: Quotes (Part 2)

24. In May 2018, executive Eric Schmidt (Former Google CEO and technical adviser for Alphabet Inc.) gave this optimistic quote about the potential impact of AI: “The embracement of AI is net positive for jobs. …[There will be] too many jobs [due to an aging society]… [AI is] the best way to make them [services] more productive, to make them smarter, more scalable, quicker and so forth.”

25. In February 2019, entrepreneur Sebastian Thrun (CEO of Kitty Hawk Corp and co-founder of Udacity) made this optimistic statement on the impact of AI: “AI is not made to replace people, but augment people. Much like mobile phones have done for us.”

26. In November 2016, entrepreneur Andrew NG (founding leader of the Google Brain team, former director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and founder and director of Landing AI) made the following pessimistic statement about the future impact of AI: “Much has been written about AI’s potential to reflect both the best and the worst of humanity. For example, we have seen AI providing conversation and comfort to the lonely; we have also seen AI engaging in racial discrimination. Yet the biggest harm that AI is likely to do to individuals in the short term is job displacement, as the amount of work we can automate with AI is vastly bigger than before. As leaders, it is incumbent on all of us to make sure we are building a world in which every individual has an opportunity to thrive.”

27. In March 2018, academic Raghuram Rajan (Former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India and Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business) made both optimistic and pessimistic statements concerning the impact of AI: "Artificial intelligence could take over jobs, but India needs to embrace technology. … Two hundred years since the industrial revolution, jobs are still around. People and society adapt to do the things that machines cannot do. With technology, there is going to be restructuring across every job, taking away the routine aspects and leaving the creative and customised aspects of that job.

28. In January 2018, executive Tiger Tyagarajan (CEO of Genpact) made the following optimistic statement: “It [AI] will [create more jobs], and we are seeing that in the beginnings already. So, the landscape of the way work gets done is changing, so obviously the landscape of skills are changing, but as a result, new jobs are getting created.”

29. In May 2018, executive Dara Khosrowshah (CEO of Uber) presented a pessimistic view of the future impact of AI: "We have to take responsibilities with government in retraining programmes to help some of the workers who might be displaced to figure out where there are good careers and to figure out what education to go after, look at apprenticeship programmes. … We have to protect those workers during a transitional period during which they can back on their feet, and that again cannot be the duty of governments. It must be governments and companies working together."

30. In March 2019, executive Mark Hurd (CEO of Oracle) made the following optimistic statement about the potential impact of AI: “[AI] will actually create more jobs, not less jobs.”

31. In September 2018, executive Ian Sigel (CEO of ZipRecruiter) was neutral on the potential impact of AI in the following statement: “You have this really interesting looming threat to the job market through AI and that tends to get the most focus and honestly the reality is this: We don’t know how many jobs are going to be lost because of artificial intelligence, but we also don’t know how many jobs will be created. There are multiple examples of AI actually creating jobs right now, and these categories are so new, they’re not as aware of them.”

32. In January 2019, Kai Fu Lee (AI expert; venture capitalist; and former executive [Apple, Microsoft, and Google]) predicted that AI would displace 40% of the jobs in this pessimistic statement: “AI will increasingly replace repetitive jobs, not just for blue-collar work, but a lot of white-collar work. Chauffeurs, truck drivers, anyone who does driving for a living — their jobs will be disrupted more in the 15 to 20-year time frame. Many jobs that seem a little bit complex, chef, waiter, a lot of things will become automated … stores … restaurants, and altogether in 15 years, that’s going to displace about 40 percent of the jobs in the world.”

33. In August 2018, executive Antony Jenkins (Former CEO of Barclays and current CEO of 10x) made a similar pessimistic statement when he predicted that AI would replace 50% of jobs in the banking industry: “We’ve already seen something like 25% of branches close between 2011 and 2015; my expectation is at least another 50% of branches will close over the next five to 10 years. Similarly, I think we’ll see something like a 50% or even greater reduction in the people employed in the industry.”

34. In August 2016, Former President of the United States Barack Obama made a pessimistic statement about the potential of AI: "If properly harnessed, it [AI] can generate enormous prosperity and opportunity. But it also has some downsides that we’re gonna have to figure out in terms of not eliminating jobs. It could increase inequality. It could suppress wages."

35. In 2016, entrepreneur Kevin Kelly (Co-founder of “Wired” and author of “The Inevitable”) made this positive statement about the potential impact of AI: “My optimism on jobs rests in history. Things incrementally improve by 1% a year, which is almost invisible except as it accumulates and is looked at retrospectively. In the past, we have undergone huge disruptions and revolutions in livelihood, the last one being the agricultural age where many farmers lost their jobs. The jobs that replaced them were unimaginable to those farmers 150 years ago—their descendants became web designers, mortgage brokers.”

36. In January 2017 executive Alain Dehaze (CEO of Adecco) was optimistic about the potentials of AI in this statement: "Our view remains the same: technology, through automation and artificial intelligence, is one of the most disruptive sources of our age. It changes the way we work and the skills we need, but it also boosts productivity and creates new jobs."

37. In February 2019, executive Michael Corbat (CEO of Citigroup) was pessimistic in his prediction that AI has the potential to eliminate tens of thousands of workers from Citibank's US call centers: “When you think of data, A.I., raw digitization of changing processes, we still have tens of thousands of people in call centers, and we know when we can digitize those processes we not only radically change or improve the customer experience, it costs less to provide.”

38. In June 2018, executive Tom Wilson (CEO of Allstate Insurance) was extremely pessimistic about the future of AI in the following statement: “It’s [AI] going to rip through this economy like a tsunami. Whether you’re an accountant, an auto adjuster, a computer programmer, technology is going to take over.”

39. In May 2016, executive Mynul Khan (CEO of Field Nation) was neutral on the impact of AI: "Robots in the workforce present an opportunity to stimulate job growth and create new types of work. Robots will not merely take jobs; they’ll also create them."

40. In May 2018, executive Masayoshi Son (Chairman of SoftBank Group Corp) was extremely pessimistic in his belief that AI will replace all blue collar workers: “Humans will continue to do jobs in high-touch segments such as the arts, social enterprises and entertainment, selling, and marketing, where humans pull on people’s heartstrings. But I believe that almost all blue-collar workers will be replaced by ‘metal-collar’ workers. By that, I mean robots equipped with intelligence and super-intelligence. They are no longer robots without brains, as they were in the past — they have become smart-robots.”

41. In June 2017, executive Paul Dyer (CEO DHL Supply Chain) made a neutral statement on the potential of AI: “We’re mainly deploying these robots in highly repetitive, 24-7 type solutions. Sometimes people just don’t want to do those tasks.”

42. In July 2018, entrepreneur Dennis R. Mortensen (CEO and founder of was optimistic about the potential impact of AI: “My hope is that we will end up removing chores that humans just don’t deserve to do and can then do much more fulfilling tasks.”

43. In January 2018, executive Ulrich Speisshofer (CEO of ABB) was optimistic about the potential of AI given that countries with high robot density (300 robots/10,000 workers) have the lowest unemployment: “…[I]t's not about technology replacing people, it's about technology augmenting people and creating wealth and the uncertainty is clear, people don't know what's coming, so we need to take the people with us, we need to make sure we educate and train people.”


We were able to find an additional 20 quotes from recognizable individuals on the subject of AI’s potential impact on jobs.

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