AI to take 50% of jobs by 2027


Computer scientist and venture capitalist Kai-Fu Lee recently reiterated his stance that artificial intelligence (AI) technology would supplant at least half of the global human workforce by 2027.

Kai-Fu Lee initially predicted that AI would take over at least half of all human jobs back in 2017. A stance he’s stuck by in the time since. In a 2018 interview with IEEE Spectrum, for example, he pointed out that despite the fact that humans had many talents and skills that AI was unlikely to achieve, AI would still replace around half of us at work.

“Most jobs are repetitive,” Kai-Fu Lee said at the time, pointing to “truck-driving, telemarketing, dishwashing, fruit picking, assembly-line work, and so on.”

He went on to say that it was his belief that AI would ultimately become a backbone technology more important than electricity and the internet combined.

In a recent interview with Fortune, he doubled down on his remarks when asked if he thought the prediction still held weight in 2024.

Per the interview, Kai Fu Lee said his prediction remained spot on:

“It’s actually uncannily accurate. People have criticized me for being too aggressive in 2017, 2018, 2019, and I was a little nervous at the time. But when gen AI came out, I think everybody’s on the bandwagon and believing that is the correct pace.”

Few figures in the world of tech have a resume as packed as Kai Fu Lee’s. He worked as an executive at Apple before becoming the founder and director of Microsoft Research Asia. After his tour with the Redmond company, he signed on as the vice president of Google and the head of Google China.

As of May 2024, he’s the founder and chairman of Sinovation Ventures, a VC fund focused on developing global tech products and services. He’s also the founder of 01.AI, an AI startup focused on developing products and services for the Chinese market.

Kai-Fu Lee’s predictions surrounding the future of AI are framed within the context of his belief that China will ultimately surpass the rest of the world in artificial intelligence technology.

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