AI will replace 40 percent of the world’s workers as soon as 2035, leading expert warns

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Forty percent of the jobs could be done by machines in as soon as 15 years, according to a top expert on artificial intelligence (AI).

Kai-Fu Lee, a pioneer in AI, who also works in venture capital in China, told “60 Minutes” that a wide range of blue-collar and white-collar jobs will be overtaken by machines in the next two decades.

“AI will increasingly replace repetitive tasks, not only for workers work, but many of the white-collar work,” Lee, who has worked for Apple and Google, told CBS. “Drivers, drivers, anyone who does drive for a living and their jobs will be affected, more in the 15 to 25 years time.”


The venture capitalist, who wrote a book about the AI of last year, said in the broadcast that “many tasks that seems a bit complicated – chef, waiter, a lot of things will be automated.”

Although technologists and futurists have made similar predictions about when the AI starts gobbling down a job before the truth is harder to pin down. Currently, most AI, that is what powers things like Apple’s Siri and Google Home page is focused on the relatively narrow tasks. Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) could, in theory, a machine or software program that can be deftly handling very complex tasks, such as writing novels or performing operations.

Sophia, the robot, is seen at a press conference at the Web Summit in 2018.
(Getty Images)

When 60 Minutes ‘ Scott Pelley pressed him for approximately 40 percent of the jobs will be moved, Lee said that the jobs will be “displaceable.”


Pelley asked Lee what a wonderful technological development could do to the society.

“Well, in a certain sense, there is human wisdom, which always overcomes these technological revolutions,” Lee explained. “The invention of the steam engine, the sewing machine, electricity, have all moved jobs. We have gotten about. The challenge of the AI, this is 40 percent, whether it’s 15 or 25 years, faster than previous revolutions.”

In China, 70 percent of the population uses a smartphone for a series of routine practices and transactions, but Lee told Pelley that the US is still China’s main competitor when it comes to the development of the full potential of AI.

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