AI Company Chief of Staff Warns Over The Future of AI and The Workplace, ‘End Employment As I Know It’

Avital Balwit, chief of staff at Anthropic, a booming AI startup backed by Google and Amazon, has joined the growing list of tech professionals voicing their concerns about the impact of artificial intelligence on the future of work.

In her personal essay published in Palladium, she shares her unique perspective, shaped by her role at the cutting edge of AI development, and comes to a striking conclusion: the era of widespread unemployment, driven by the unstoppable progress of AI technology, might be closer than we think.

“I stand at the edge of a technological development that seems likely, should it arrive, to end employment as I know it,” Balwit wrote.

She believes that the ultimate goal of the AI field is to create a system that can perform any task, and she expects this milestone to be reached soon.

Her prediction is not without support.

Goldman Sachs estimates that AI could replace 300 million full-time jobs globally in the coming years, while a McKinsey study warns that nearly 12 million US workers may have to switch jobs by 2030 due to automation.

The UK government is also preparing for a scenario where increased unemployment and poverty become a reality by 2030.

Balwit says that jobs most at risk are those that involve “reading, analyzing, and synthesizing information, and then generating content based on it.”

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This includes professions like copywriting, tax preparation, customer service, software development, and contract law.

“Essentially anything that a remote worker can do, AI will do better,” she claims.

However, not all sectors will be equally affected.

Balwit predicts that those in regulated industries like medicine or the civil service will likely see human involvement for a longer period, although with fewer workers supplemented by AI systems.

Similarly, those who have switched to trade-based careers can expect to enjoy work for “much longer than five more years.”

Despite the potential for widespread job loss, Balwit paints a positive picture of what unemployment could look like in the future.

She compares it to the aristocratic life of the early modern era, suggesting that a world where people’s basic needs are met without the need to work could resemble the lifestyle of the landed gentry, filled with hobbies, social events, and time spent with loved ones.

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This vision is similar to the views of other prominent tech figures, like Elon Musk, who recently told British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, “There will come a point where no job is needed. You can have a job if you want to have a job, for personal satisfaction, but the AI will be able to do everything.”