Billionaire Reid Hoffman doesn’t think artificial intelligence will take your job, necessarily. But the LinkedIn cofounder and PayPal Alum believes, if you’re in a white-collar role, technology will almost certainly require you to change how you work—and in just a few years rather than decades.
Hoffman, a partner at venture capital firm Greylock, made the comments during a This Week in Startups podcast episode was released on Wednesday.
The way he sees it, artificial intelligence is developing at such a pace that we “have a personal assistant for any professional information task. [within] 2 to 5 years.” Transformation occurs in any role where something is done with information: “I process the information, you do something with it – make an investment decision, write a memo, write a prescription , something like that.”
Not that the adoption of AI will be even in the sectors, he added: “Now, what does the adoption look like, is it useful in the important, there are different things – but as an amplifier, as amplification intelligence versus artificial intelligence, it’s really off-the-charts amazing.”
Hoffman, as an early investor and advisor to OpenAI—the company behind the AI chatbots ChatGPT and GPT-4—thought more than most about the technology’s implications. He recently published a BOOK—Impromptu: Augmenting Our People Through AI—also written in GPT-4.
Hoffman is optimistic about the impact of AI on humanity but does not forget the fear that it will be used to do the work that is currently done by white professionals.
Judge by the thoughts of IBM chief Arvind Krishna, using the “personal assistant” that Hoffman mentioned would be more mandatory than optional.
Krishna wrote a new one luck op-ed, “We need to start preparing the workforce for collaboration with AI tools.” The tools “will deal with the kind of tasks that most people find repetitive, freeing up employees to take on higher-value work.”
Whether technology “liberates” workers or makes them poor is up for debate. Krishna recently SAYS IBM will slow or suspend hiring for back-office jobs. “I can easily see 30% being replaced by AI and automation over a five-year period,” he said. (Bloomberg estimated which will translate into more than 7,000 lost jobs, despite IBM later clarified by luck (that instead of a blanket hiring freeze the company can be “very selective” about hiring for jobs that aren’t client- or technology-focused.)
Employees who survive AI-fueled workforce reductions may be the ones learning how to best work alongside technology.
“I have in my mind that AI will not replace people, but people using AI will replace people,” said Kara McWilliams, head of ETS Product Innovation Labs, which offers a tool that can identify the responses made in AI. , SPOKE THE Financial Times earlier this year.
“Undoubtedly, many of the tasks in the white-collar field will look very different in the next five to 10 years,” Mustafa Suleyman, who founded the AI lab. DeepMind, told the audience at the GIC Bridge Forum in San Francisco this week. “There are a serious number of losers [and they] can be very unhappy, very troublesome.”
In addition, there may be more pressure from bosses to do more in a day thanks to AI James Clarke, the CEO of digital marketing firm Clearlink, recently. said to his staff: “A lot of content writers today are exclusively using AI to write. I can do that in about 30 minutes in an eight-hour workday. So what should we do? Let’s put 30 to 50 times in our normal production.
Asked by This Week in Startups how much of the work people do today can be offloaded to tools like GPT-4, Hoffman says it depends on the work. But if you’re doing something like writing reports, for example, or taking minutes, “then your answer is probably 50% to 80% … what you need to do in three hours to do today It’s been 15 minutes.”
Hoffman added on a hopeful note that an employee could use the extra time to produce a report that “would be better within that time frame.”
Whether the boss needs it to be better is an open question.