42% of CEOs Think AI Will Destroy Humanity. But They’re the Ones Hiring It.

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    A new survey of some of the country’s CEOs has revealed that 42% of them think AI will end humanity within the next decade. Meanwhile, AI is already ravaging the workforce, and CEOs are responsible.

    The report comes from CNN, and the outlet cites figures from the Yale CEO summit, revealing that nearly half of the surveyed CEOs think that artificial intelligence could spell doom for humanity in the next five to 10 years. 34% of the 119 surveyed CEOs believe that AI could destroy humanity in a decade, 8% believe it could happen in five years, and 58% aren’t particularly worried. Survey respondents include Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, Coca-Cola CEO James Quincy, as well as leadership from Xerox, Zoom, and other pharmaceutical, media, and manufacturing companies—though it’s not clear which leaders responded to the survey.

    Related: 500 Top Technologists and Elon Musk Demand Immediate Pause of Advanced AI Systems

    The question of whether or not AI will destroy humanity is an interesting one to pose to CEOs since they’re the ones who have the power to decide if that happens. Some are already jumping on the AI bandwagon, placing company profits over people’s livelihoods. IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said last month that the company is planning to pause or slow hiring in the coming years for roles in which AI could replace humans. The slowdown or freeze in hiring would affect back-office positions and departments such as HR—these non-customer-facing positions make up around 26,000 positions in IBM’s workforce. Tim Davidson, IBM communications officer, told Gizmodo last month that the company is “being deliberate and thoughtful in our hiring with a focus on revenue-generating roles.”

    It doesn’t stop at IBM. A workforce report revealed that in May, nearly 4,000 jobs were lost as a direct result of artificial intelligence. With talks of a looming recession, it’s possible that company leadership really is beginning to pare down the human employees in their workforce in favor of a bucket of AI bolts in order to save some cash and impress shareholders.

    What CEOs like Krishna—and those surveyed—seem to ignore is that AI could serve as a supplement to labor by making menial tasks easier or even non-existent, thereby optimizing the performance of both that artificial intelligence and the human worker. New research from Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology has found that 14% of employees who used ChatGPT in their workflow saw an increase in productivity—with the least experienced and least skilled workers completing tasks 35% faster.


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