Controversial entrepreneur and philanthropist Bill Gates has recently made a prediction that he -- and everyone else -- will eventually say goodbye to the five-day workweek as a result of artificial intelligence (AI), as Business Insider reports.
Gates' assertion came during an appearance with Trevor Noah on the What Now? podcast released on Tuesday.
Working smarter, not harder?
Noah asked a question that has been on the minds of many for some time amid news of AI's surging prevalence in a host of industries.
He inquired of Gates whether he believed that AI would pose an existential threat to a significant number of the jobs currently held by humans.
Gates suggested that full-out obsolescence was likely not on the horizon for humans, but added, “If you eventually get a society where you only have to work three days a week, that's probably OK.”
The billionaire thought leader further mused that a scenario could one day emerge in which “machines can make all the food and the stuff,” allowing humans to maintain a more livable work-life balance while still earning sufficient income.
Gates not alone
It was just last month that sentiments similar to those expressed by Gates were voiced by Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, as CNBC noted.
As someone who has touted what he views as the tremendous potential of AI to transform society for the better, Dimon said, “Your children are going to live to 100 and not have cancer because of technology. And literally they'll probably be working 3 ½ days a week.”
Asked to respond to those who are worried that AI will render human employees unnecessary, at least in the banking industry in which he works, Dimon replied, “of course,” adding, “technologies always replace jobs” but that people and organizations ultimately adapt.
A recent Goldman Sachs report estimated that roughly 300 million jobs worldwide could be impacted by increased adoption of AI.
The Pew Research Center asserted that roughly 1 out of every 5 Americans currently has a job with “high exposure” when it comes to displacement due to AI.
One possible silver lining in the eyes of many, however, is a recent analysis suggesting that workers in Washington, D.C. -- home to the sprawling and arguably wasteful and inefficient federal government -- are at the greatest risk of job loss due to innovations in AI, a scenario which could -- at long last -- begin the process of shrinking the bureaucracy once and for all.