Will AI take our jobs? | Sam Altman and Lex Fridman

Lex Clips
27 Mar 202309:58

TLDRThe transcript discusses the impact of AI and language models like GPT on job markets, particularly in fields like customer service. It acknowledges the potential for AI to replace jobs but also to create new opportunities. The conversation touches on the societal value of work and the dignity it provides, as well as the potential need for Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a safety net during transitions. The speaker expresses optimism about the future, envisioning a society enriched by technological advancements and the possibility of systems resembling democratic socialism that could support those struggling. The discussion also delves into the historical failure of communism in the Soviet Union, emphasizing the importance of individualism and the unpredictability of human ingenuity over centralized planning.


  • πŸ’­ GPT and language models have the potential to make some jobs, like programming, vastly more productive, leading to an increase in code production and possibly changing the demand for programmers.
  • πŸ’» Customer service is identified as a sector that could see significant job reductions due to the capabilities of AI in handling basic inquiries and tasks.
  • πŸ› οΈ Technological advancements, while eliminating some jobs, are also expected to enhance many others, making them more enjoyable and higher paying, and creating new types of employment that are currently hard to imagine.
  • πŸ’Έ The concept of Universal Basic Income (UBI) is discussed as a potential cushion during transitional periods brought about by AI advancements, aiming to alleviate poverty and adjust to economic shifts.
  • πŸ–₯ Economic and political systems are anticipated to undergo transformations due to AI, with the costs of intelligence and energy decreasing, leading to broader societal wealth and potentially positive political impacts.
  • πŸ’š A move towards systems that resemble democratic socialism is hoped for, to reallocate resources in a way that uplifts those in struggle, promoting a society where the minimum standard of living is elevated.
  • 🌎 The failure of communism in the Soviet Union is attributed to the lack of individualism, self-determination, and the inefficiency of centralized planning compared to distributed processes betting on human ingenuity.
  • πŸ›‘οΈ Centralized planning by a super intelligent AGI is speculated to potentially be more effective than past human attempts, but the benefits of multiple AGIs operating within a liberal democratic system are also acknowledged.
  • πŸ’‘ The importance of embedding a degree of uncertainty and humility in AGI systems to prevent dogmatic certainties, promoting a form of built-in checks and balances through human alignment and feedback.
  • πŸ“š Insights from comprehensive studies on UBI sponsored by OpenAI are anticipated, which could shed light on how society can adapt to the economic shifts caused by AI, underlining the significance of ongoing research and experimentation.

Q & A

  • How does the speaker view the impact of GPT and language models on productivity and job availability?

    -The speaker believes that while GPT and language models can significantly increase productivity, this does not necessarily mean fewer jobs for programmers. Instead, the increased productivity could lead to more code being written and more digitization, potentially expanding job opportunities.

  • What is the speaker's perspective on the potential for AI to replace jobs in customer service?

    -The speaker thinks that AI could massively impact the customer service industry, potentially reducing the number of jobs in this sector. However, they are uncertain and suggest that the impact might not be as significant as they anticipate.

  • How does the speaker address the concern of jobs being replaced by AI?

    -The speaker acknowledges that technological revolutions replace certain jobs, but they also enhance and create new ones. They express optimism that AI will lead to better, more fulfilling jobs, even if they are difficult to imagine at present.

  • What is the speaker's view on the dignity of work and its importance to society?

    -The speaker believes that work is crucial for societal participation and personal dignity, even for those who may not enjoy their jobs. Work is seen as more than just a means to earn a living; it's a creative expression and a path to fulfillment and happiness.

  • Can you explain the speaker's stance on Universal Basic Income (UBI) in the context of AI?

    -The speaker supports UBI as a component of a broader solution to societal changes brought about by AI. They see it as a cushion during dramatic transitions and a means to eliminate poverty. However, they also recognize that people value earning their income and the purpose it gives them.



πŸ€– Impact of AI on Job Market and Universal Basic Income

The paragraph discusses the potential of AI and language models like GPT to increase productivity, which could lead to a reduced need for programmers. However, the speaker suggests that the increased productivity could lead to more coding and digitization, thus creating more jobs. The conversation then shifts to the impact of AI on the job market, particularly in customer service, and the potential for AI to replace jobs, enhance existing ones, and create new, unimaginable roles. The speaker also addresses concerns about the dignity of work and societal values, emphasizing the importance of jobs for individuals. The discussion includes the speaker's support for Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a transitional measure and the broader concept of work as a creative expression and source of fulfillment.


🌐 Economic and Political Transformations Driven by AI

This paragraph delves into the anticipated economic and political changes as AI becomes more prevalent in society. The speaker predicts a significant decrease in the cost of intelligence and energy, leading to a much wealthier society. Historical parallels are drawn, suggesting that economic impacts have traditionally led to positive political changes. The conversation touches on the potential for systems resembling democratic socialism to emerge, redistributing resources to support those struggling. The speaker shares their aversion to communism, citing individualism and the ability to self-determine as crucial aspects of a successful society. The discussion also explores the possibility of a super intelligent AGI versus multiple AGIs in a liberal democratic system, emphasizing the importance of uncertainty and human alignment in AI development.



πŸ’‘GPT, language models

GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) and language models refer to a type of artificial intelligence that processes and generates human-like text based on the input it receives. In the context of the video, these models are discussed for their potential to enhance productivity significantly, potentially making certain jobs more efficient or even obsolete. For example, the script mentions that these technologies could make programmers much more productive, suggesting that less human labor might be needed for the same amount of work.

πŸ’‘customer service

Customer service is mentioned as a job sector that could be massively impacted by AI, with a potential reduction in the number of jobs available. This is due to AI's ability to automate responses to common queries, handle basic customer interactions, and streamline service processes, which are currently managed by human employees in call centers and customer support roles.

πŸ’‘technological Revolution

The term 'technological Revolution' refers to a period of rapid technological change that significantly impacts society, economy, and culture. In the script, it is noted that every technological revolution leads to the disappearance of some jobs, the enhancement of others, and the creation of entirely new roles. This context underlines the transformative potential of AI and language models, which are part of the ongoing technological revolution.

πŸ’‘Universal basic income (UBI)

Universal basic income is a government program in which every adult citizen receives a set amount of money regularly, regardless of their income, resources, or employment status. The video discusses UBI in the context of AI's impact on jobs, suggesting it could serve as a cushion during transitions caused by technological advancements, helping to eliminate poverty and redistribute wealth in society.

πŸ’‘economic and political systems

The script explores how AI could alter economic and political systems, suggesting that the decrease in the cost of intelligence and energy will lead to wealthier societies. This, in turn, might drive political changes, potentially towards systems that ensure resources are more evenly distributed, such as Democratic socialism.


Democracy is a form of government in which power is vested in the hands of the people, either directly or through elected representatives. The video speculates on how the integration of AI into society could influence democratic processes, possibly leading to significant transformations in how democracy functions.

πŸ’‘centralized planning vs. individualism

This concept contrasts two approaches to economic and social organization: centralized planning, where decisions are made by a central authority, and individualism, which emphasizes personal autonomy and self-determination. The discussion reflects on the failure of centralized planning in the Soviet Union and suggests that a system promoting individualism and distributed decision-making, like in the U.S., is more effective.

πŸ’‘AGI (Artificial General Intelligence)

AGI refers to a machine with the ability to understand, learn, and apply intellectual abilities across a wide range of tasks, equivalent to human intelligence. The video contemplates the hypothetical scenario of a super-intelligent AGI managing centralized planning, raising questions about the effectiveness and moral implications of such a system compared to multiple AGIs operating in a democratic system.

πŸ’‘human alignment

Human alignment in AI development is the process of ensuring that AI systems' goals and behaviors are aligned with human values and ethical standards. The script touches on this, suggesting that even with advanced AI, incorporating mechanisms for uncertainty and 'humility' is crucial to avoid dogmatic or harmful outcomes.

πŸ’‘dignity of work

The 'dignity of work' refers to the intrinsic value that individuals and society place on employment, not just for economic reasons but also for the sense of purpose and identity it provides. The video highlights concerns about the impact of AI on the workforce, suggesting a need to redefine work and value in a way that fosters fulfillment and happiness beyond traditional employment models.


GPT and language models could potentially increase productivity for programmers by 10 times.

The increased productivity may lead to a need for less programmers, but also to the creation of more code and digitization.

Customer service is a job category that might see a significant reduction in jobs due to AI advancements.

Technological revolutions typically replace jobs, enhance existing ones, and create new, unimaginable jobs.

The dignity of work is crucial, and jobs are important for societal inclusion and personal satisfaction.

There is societal confusion about whether we want to work more or less, and whether most people find value in their jobs.

The speaker supports Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a component of a broader solution to societal challenges.

UBI could serve as a cushion during dramatic transitions and help eliminate poverty.