Elon Musk says “Probably none of us will have a job”

May 27, 2024

  • Elon Musk says that robotics and AI will mean the end of almost all jobs but it’s a good thing
  • Musk says society would have a universal high income and access to any desired goods or services
  • Humanity will need to redefine the meaning of life when humans no longer need to work

Elon Musk says that the most likely scenario is that AI and robots will eventually replace almost all human labor, but he assures us that it’s probably a good thing.

Musk spoke remotely during an interview at the Viva Technology 2024 event in Paris. He said a benign outcome where AI doesn’t destroy humanity is the most likely outcome, offering odds of 80% of this happening.

He said that the natural progression would be that AI and robots would become so advanced that eventually, “Probably none of us will have a job.”

In this utopic scenario, Musk says that we won’t simply have a universal basic income. Musk expects that governments would provide citizens with a universal high income.

Musk said that in the long term, advancements in AI and robotics will mean that “any job a person is doing would be optional” and would be more of a hobby than out of necessity. “But otherwise, AI and the robots will provide any goods and services that you want,” he added.

What is my purpose?

While that may sound good, he said that in a future where humans no longer need to work we’ll be faced with some existential questions. “If the computer and robot can do everything better than you, then does your life have meaning?” Musk mused.

Musk says that as humans, our contribution to society may be to provide meaning, or purpose to AI.

He explained that in our brains, the cortex is responsible for thinking and planning, while the limbic system is responsible for feelings and instinct. The cortex is always trying to make the limbic system happy.

In a future where AI takes over the thinking and planning roles, it might also assume the role of making the human limbic system happy. Human happiness could be what gives AI meaning and purpose.


Musk also spoke about his Neuralink project, which has had impressive results along with a few snags with its first human test subject.

He explained that the ultimate goal of Neuralink is to have it evolve into a high-bandwidth interface to “mitigate the risk of digital superintelligence.”

Musk sees the comparatively slow rate of human communication as a challenge to keeping a future AI superintelligence aligned.

If AI and robots will be doing all the work for us, Musk sees Neuralink as a way to speed up the way we communicate with them by orders of magnitude.

He didn’t offer a timeline on when we would be able to kick back and let the robots do our jobs for us but he’s mostly sure that it will work out to humanity’s benefit.

You can watch the full interview here.

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Eugene van der Watt

Eugene comes from an electronic engineering background and loves all things tech. When he takes a break from consuming AI news you'll find him at the snooker table.


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