25 Percent of CEOs Plan to Replace Human Workers With AI This Year

Movers and Shakers

Global decision-makers and the world's leading financial body predict that artificial intelligence will result in dramatic job losses in 2024 and beyond.

During the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, a survey of CEOs revealed that a quarter intend to cut their headcounts by at least five percent "due to generative AI," per a press release from PwC, the firm that conducted it.

Translation: 25 percent of CEOs are aiming to replace human workers with AI because they think it'll be cheaper. Vive la future!

On the flip side, the head of the International Monetary Fund warned in a pre-Davos blog post based on the non-governmental organization's own analysis that nearly 40 percent of jobs globally could be affected by the rise of AI.

"In most scenarios," IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva wrote, "AI will likely worsen overall inequality, a troubling trend that policymakers must proactively address to prevent the technology from further stoking social tensions."

Media Illiteracy

These dramatic bookends to the start of the annual billionaire conference represent a stunning shoulder shrug from the global powers that be regarding the apparently inevitable AI death march. At least the IMF, of all things, is calling for governments to establish social safety nets — while also advocating for "retraining programs" to teach "vulnerable workers" how to survive in a labor market increasingly dominated by algorithms.

According to the PwC survey, more than 30 percent of the media and entertainment CEOs surveyed plan to fire workers in anticipation of AI advancements, making that sector the leader among others like insurance, banking, and telecom in its layoff intentions. That's particularly prurient and premature because, as Futurism has reported repeatedly over the past year, generative AI as it stands today often outputs nonsensical, plagiarized, and otherwise shoddy work.

Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, CEOs are nevertheless pushing forward on AI because, as one of the bigwigs involved in conducting the survey indicates, they've been convinced that it's "disruptive."

"As business leaders are becoming less concerned about macroeconomic challenges, they are becoming more focused on the disruptive forces within their industries," Bob Moritz, the global chair of PwC, told the Financial Times. "Whether it is accelerating the rollout of generative AI or building their businesses to address the challenges and opportunities of the climate transition, this is a year of transformation."

Execs might want to watch out for their own interests. After Sports Illustrated got caught using AI to publish articles, the CEO of its publisher soon found himself on the chopping block himself.

More on AI audacity: Amazon Is Selling Products With AI-Generated Names Like "I Cannot Fulfill This Request It Goes Against OpenAI Use Policy"