Elon Musk predicts AI will claim everyone's job and turn work into an 'optional' hobby, but questions emotional fulfillment

Elon Musk in an interview
(Image credit: BBC News)

What you need to know

  • Elon Musk predicts a job-free future with the prevalence of AI.
  • Musk says jobs will turn into optional hobbies.
  • The billionaire says the government will need to provide universal high income for this scenario to work.

Earlier this year, Elon Musk said we're on the verge of the biggest technology revolution with AI but admitted there won't be enough power by 2025. The billionaire recently shared more insight on AI's trajectory in terms of growth and direction at the VivaTech conference in Paris.

Perhaps what stood out the most about Musk's opinion is that AI will claim all jobs from humans in the near future. "Probably none of us will have a job," stated Musk. He painted a picture of a future where AI and robots can provide any goods or services you might need (via CNN). 

Musk predicts a future where jobs would be optional, "If you want to do a job that's kinda like a hobby, you can do a job," added the billionaire. But how would people earn a living without going to work or running businesses? Musk presented a scenario where the government provides "universal high income" regardless of their earnings.

You might already be conversant with Universal basic income (UBI). In this proposed social welfare concept, the government allocates a specific amount of money to everyone regularly to cater to basic needs. It's in place to help reduce the vast disparity between the less fortunate and the wealthy while improving living conditions and reducing instances of crime. Consequently, the universal high-income approach would constitute a self-sustaining "utopia" with sufficient goods and services for everyone. 

Musk has previously highlighted his fears centered on the rapid progression of AI but is equally curious about where AI advances will lead humanity. Interestingly, while an AI researcher says there's a 99.9% chance AI will end humanity according to p(doom), Musk dwindled the probability to 20% and indicated the technology should still be explored anyway. The researcher warned that not building and exploring AI advances further is the only way to prevent the technology from spiraling out of control.

However, the billionaire raised an important point regarding emotional fulfillment in a job-free future controlled by AI. 

“The question will really be one of meaning – if the computer and robots can do everything better than you, does your life have meaning? I do think there’s perhaps still a role for humans in this – in that we may give AI meaning.”

Elon Musk

In case you missed Microsoft's new AI feature in Windows 11

Recall interface

(Image credit: Windows Central)

During Microsoft's just-concluded special Windows and Surface event, the company announced a host of next-gen AI features shipping to Windows 11, including Windows 11 Recall, Live Captions, and more. The tech giant announced that the features will ship to Windows 11 next month, but you'll probably need a Copilot+ PC to access these features. To this end, it's unclear when the features will come to "traditional" Windows 11 PCs.

The new AI-powered Windows 11 Recall feature has stirred up controversy across social media. By definition, it sees everything you do and captures snapshots from apps and websites, which are then stored locally on your device for future reference.

READ MORE: How does Windows 11 Recall work?

Elon Musk has had interesting hot takes about AI; his latest compares Microsoft's new Windows Recall AI feature in Windows 11 to a Black Mirror episode. He categorically indicated that he'll turn off the feature once it ships.

This is an opt-in experience that runs on-device NPU. Microsoft promises the new feature is 100% privacy-focused and allows users to choose how long they'd like the screenshots stored and how much space is dedicated to this function. It can also be disabled at any time. 

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry at Windows Central. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. You'll also catch him occasionally contributing at iMore about Apple and AI. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.