back to article IMF boss warns of AI 'tsunami' coming for world's jobs

International Monetary Fund managing director Dr Kristalina Georgieva has warned of a "tsunami" hitting the global labor market as businesses adopt AI technologies. Georgieva spoke at an event organized by the Swiss Institute of International Studies. Professor Thomas Jordan, chairman of the Governing Board of the Swiss …

  1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    Yup im going to believe a woman who can barely turn a computer on... sad thing is there are many like here in "charge" of things when they should be working in macdonalds.

    1. Snake Silver badge

      She's warning of businesses using AI as replacements for those warm fleshy things that you need to pay every week, thereby showing the world that people don't count - only quarterlies and Wall Street.

      If her prediction does come to pass, hard, then I would hope that discussion on Basic Income will be taken seriously. If you are creating systems where people will find difficulty in holding reasonable employment for the sake of business goals, yet making said hard-to-gain employment the assumed source of survival, then said society has a fundamental responsibility to assure that the actual human right of survival in such a cut-throat society exists in the first place.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Basic income?

        IF AI would take over a large part of industry and business, forget about that. IF it takes over, it will be largely in the hands of a few big tech corporations.

        The business model to expect?

        Start with a half acceptable product with many flaws. Convince many businesses leaders they can fire a lot of people if they use it and it will improve short term profit and give bountiful bonuses to the C suite. Many people with skill and experience will be fired in the businesses. That by itself will improve the quality of the tools compared to the remaining employees. The big AI slingers also will make it so that undoing the move to use their AI will be very hard due to lock in (including holding the businesses process data). Think about cloud lock in on steroids.

        Then, they'll train on the processes of the early takers that didn't pay for no slurping or failed to Chinese Wall everything from the mother ship if that even were possible. Tools start to improve / become less bad and the talent pool of human workers decreases due to people fired (one or more times in a row) leaving the field. That's a double boost to the ratio performance of AI / human workers.

        In the next phase, starting and running many types of businesses with solid human processes and training of humans becomes a big investment. Companies shedding as much humans as possible not only gives a few quarters up to years of extra profit, but allows to undercut the prices of many services and products so much that many companies run by real humans need to bail out.

        In the following phase, you have got a "Apple-ification and Google-ification and Steam-ification" of much of industry and business. It's getting exceedingly hard to find and retain qualified people to run a business without their tools, there are few competitors and once you make a choice of AI providers you basically locked your entire business in in their model. These AI providers are now in a position to ask 30% of your sales price of services and products, just like they now do on app stores. And the businesses (hostage) producing products can accept or likely go bust.

        That'll give an entire new meaning to "the Apple (or OpenAI, Microsoft or whoever succeeds) tax". IF, that remains to be seen, IF they reach their vision of them (a few companies) being able to run major / key parts of business and production then they'll simply run it as current day app stores (or worse). IF, that remains to be seen, IF they could grab much of the world economy because it one day would be hard to compete without using their tools then basically they have a 30% "AI tool tax" on much of the world economy divided among themselves. That is on *turnover*, not on profit! The days of moaning on high government tax rates and getting too few back for it in return would resemble the "good old days".

        Don't expect those companies to give much back in return. Don't expect them to pay much if any taxes at all. Possible they even manage to get net subsidies for being essential and of strategic importance to the nation. And with 30% of "AI tool tax" on *turnover* there will be very few room left for government to earn taxes. Then forget basic income. Forget meaningful social security for the masses. Forget affordable schooling for the masses, those will get third tier AI schooling good enough to let them read and order products and services with the pennies they have left. And with schooling for the masses plummeting, the ratio of AI tool quality versus human labour further increases making these AI tools even more dominant in business and production.

        NOTE to the coming downvoters: I do NOT say that AI tools will be able to do this. I say IF they'll become able to improve so much and IF it will be hard for small players in AI, why would we have any reason to expect them (these proven monopolists) to behave any different?

        Under such conditions, government and law won't be able to stop them neither as they'll be impoverished too and not only be dependent on the few handouts these corporations want to give left and right, but by then they'll outsourced most of their processes to AI of these mega corporations too making government unable to make any strong demands let alone binding laws.

        "It's a brave new world"

        1. poopsie

          Re: Basic income?

          Good post. I'd agree with much of what you wrote. We will soon reach a tipping point where millions cannot afford to live, which is already happening in many parts of the USA. And I'd add one point to your scenario. We've already seen many good customer service jobs moved to India and other places, with a serious decrease in quality. Many companies will substitute AI for these outsourced workers and customers will only be able to complain when answers become ridiculous.

          We're headed for a world of Eloi and Morlocks, with the former being those with good jobs and perks. The only question is the timeframe, i.e., when will the unwashed riot over their dismal lives?

          1. GoneFission

            Re: Basic income?

            >when will the unwashed riot over their dismal lives?

            They already are in a lot of cases of the US, hence the militarized police force and private security contractors to keep the labor-churning grist mills safe. We are already way beyond the point where UBI makes serious ethical and moral sense to implement; they've shown repeatedly they don't care if or to what degree their former consumer base or current labor force suffers as long as the cash keeps rolling in from somewhere.

        2. rajivdx

          Re: Basic income?

          The big worry will be that with few big companies like OpenAI holding all our AI models, the Googleification of our models will be inevitable. It won't be long before someone will say 'hey we have all this training data and models trained by this poor sod our customer, why don't we take that knowledge and offer customers pretrained models ready to go from day one.' - and there goes all the hard work and IP of the early adopters. It will be worse than the Silicon Valley brain drain - you won't even be able to offer your models a higher pay to get them to stay.

        3. jmch Silver badge

          Re: Basic income?

          Students of history would note that every time there has been a large disparity in wealth/power distribution, the poor masses have reacted - often violently - to correct the imbalance. I actually half-suspect that there are many of the greedy bastards who would like there to be a universal income... just give the proles enough for a roof over their head and food on the table, and if they complain say, well, you're not working and we're housing / feeding you for free.

          The truth is that work isn't only about income, it's also about purpose and dignity. People will find things to do even if they're not paid for that, and as has always happened in history, they will eventually find ways of getting paid for what they're doing anyway

        4. 0laf

          Re: Basic income?

          Normally I'm pretty cynical about apocolyptic predictions but with AI I can really see civilization as we have known it (for about the last 50yr) circling the drain.

          But I can't compute the idea that if AI will replace so many roles in workplaces that it seems few people will be in work, if not enough people are working then who buys the products that the AIs will be creating. B2B only works so far, eventually you have to be selling services to someone. If no one is working no one has money, if no one is working no one pays tax and if the corporation left are as now tax avoiders then the government has no money. I'm stunned the unions aren't screaming about this.

          It seems almost like mutually assured economic destruction.

          Admittedly not in the next 4 quarters so who gives a shit yeah?

      2. TheRON

        We pay taxes to the Governments to take care of us, we have laws and policies such as Social Security, we have civic institutions such as insurance and investment banks. We have political parties to "fight for our needs and our rights", grassroots who promise to fix the problems with the governments, the laws and policies, with the civic institutions. We have churches and charities such as the United Way and Feed the Children. We have so many good-doer organizations that it's not possible to keep track of them. Yet some things will never change, one of them is that solutions painted with a wide brush, such as the Universal Basic Income, are doomed to fail, they are always too big and often too generous to succeed.

        1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

          You have a real problem if you list churches and charities as your source of social help. There is no way such small orgs can cope with the poor of a country. The solution is of course to prevent the problem and have governments take care of the poor like they do in Australia or Western Europe.

          The problem is America is full of extremists, wall street trying to grab every last cent and destroying workers ability to live, the media supporting personality cults, bullshit america in movies and culture, fake culture claims at workplaces, and a lot more examples of extremism that is tahnkfully a lot less in the previously mentioned countries.

        2. jmch Silver badge

          Social security, even in it's current highly flawed, top-heavy-and-about-to-topple-over-state, is based on the premise that people working have earned credits for when they retire. If hardly anyone is working, there is no social security. And "We" (meaning the vast majority of people) pay taxes on our income, again, no work > no income > no tax > government has to survive on whatever it can tax out of businesses, who by this point will be bigger than governments and have them even more bought and paid for than currently.

          The real question is how will the social order develop if such a dystopia starts to unfold?? Will people continue to vote against their interests?? I think that both morally and logically, we simply say to big AI companies - you trained all that AI on our collective knowledge, so we're going to take a special levy of X% of all AI-generated revenue (which wouldn't be a tax but a royalty payment).

        3. UnknownUnknown

          If you don’t either have a job or a good paying job… little to no taxes will flow to your tax revenue.

          No tax dollars = No Government Spending = anarchy.

      3. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        Im not disputing what advice she is giving im simply stating that nobody should be listening to her because she of her lack of qualiications.

        Nobody would listen to her recommendations about brain surgery, so why should anyone listen to her about computers ?

        People shoudl be taking medical advice from real medical specialists, and not talking heads like her. Many of the worlds problems are because of talking heads whose only specialty is bullshitting on topics they have no knowledge or qwualiications.

        1. jmch Silver badge

          "nobody should be listening to her because she of her lack of qualiications..... why should anyone listen to her about computers ?"

          Except, if you note, she isn't talking about computers, the is talking about business and businesses shedding jobs, which, I would say, probably IS an area of expertise for an IMF boss (ie even if AI is actually crap she can see that companies will fire lots of people and buy lots of AI crap)

          1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

            Thats partially true. The title of this news piece clearly mentions AI and her comments about it.

            She has no clue what AI is or isnt able to do or what it will do in the future.

            SHe should not be pretending that it will do anything of any kind because she has no proof that it will or will not do any of those things.

  2. Eclectic Man Silver badge

    We're DOOMED!

    "Because artificial intelligence can weave information and rules with acquired experience to support decision-making, it can enable a larger set of workers equipped with necessary foundational training to perform higher-stakes decision-making tasks currently arrogated to elite experts, such as doctors, lawyers, software engineers, and college professors."

    He has clearly never read any of the Register's articles on AI, or the comments pertaining thereto. Neither has he ever actually used an AI to do anything on which his freedom, safety, health or wealth relied.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: We're DOOMED!

      Also who thinks that college professors are an elite who are allowed to make higher stakes decisions?

      There are a tiny number of truly elite profs who are trusted by governments to do reports into stuff or are put on advisory committees. Although they mostly report to politicians for the final decision. And there are a few more fake ones in the USA, who are really senior civil servants whose party lost the last election - so have to camp out in either academia or think-tank land until their guys can win an election again, and then they go back to their deputy-secretaryships.

  3. tiggity Silver badge

    Shoulder shrugs

    From plumbers, electricians, plasterers, joiners, decorators, bricklayers etc. who will be little affected.

    Politicians & similar (IMF head falls into that) are one of the few roles able to be replaced by "AI" in its current (dismal) state.

    My experience of current "AI", has been that output is full of confidence & at first glance may sound good but inspection reveals it's high on confabulation and based on little underlying hard facts (indeed if often gives massively incorrect data with 100% confidence). So indistinguishable from many a politician.

    1. spacecadet66

      Re: Shoulder shrugs

      Maybe that's what this is at root: projection. Human bullshitters are nervous about their own jobs because we've built a reliable automatic bullshitter.

    2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      Re: Shoulder shrugs

      Why do we even need these professional bullshitters in the first place ?

      They dont help the farmers grow food, they are all a monumental tax in terms of their compensation and the bad decisions they cause.

  4. itsthemonkey

    How can they believe this crap?

    It’s not intelligence, it’s predictive texting on steroids. Predictive texting has been around for years and I only just got to stop being forced into using the word “ducking” when texting about the ducking idiots that have fallen for this garbage,

    Just for shits and giggles I asked an LLM the other day what the LLMNR service was to get a concise description for a presentation…It came back with a detailed explanation which looked great. Sadly, it told lies, thought that LLMNR was part of VPN technology (???) but it LOOKED like it knew what it was talking about. Maybe that’s the common denominator between the technology and the supporters - neither of them have a clue what they are talking about, but they both put a lot of effort into polishing their turds?

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: How can they believe this crap?

      Trouble is, businesses want to believe it. So they'll start culling their herds in a vain effort to save short term costs. After a few months or years, when they finally accept the fact it doesn't work for their use cases, they will be forced to rehire, or go under. So they'll rehire at worse terms then before, because there will be so many candidates chasing fewer positions.


      Either way the businesses win (apparent cost savings), so who cares if the minions are out of work for a while, loose their homes, go broke etc. That will make them all the more willing to accept crap conditions in the future.


      1. itsthemonkey

        Re: How can they believe this crap?

        No, that will never happen! Imagine someone masquerading as a tech guru running - say - a sowshall meeja company called Twatter or an EV company called Twizzler laying off tech teams and then realising they were actually needed. Honestly, could you EVER see someone doing something so stupid? I mean, these guys know what they are talking about, they are into Crapto Currencies, they must be clever.....Oh dear.....

        1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

          Re: How can they believe this crap?

          Must just doesnt care.

          Look at him from millions to hundreds of billions, he must know he is bullshitting but he doesnt care because america has rewarded him. QUite a considerable number of the media and soceity think of him as a god, and being the arsehole that he is, he will continue to leverage that to peddle his bullshit for money, because thats the american way.

      2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        Re: How can they believe this crap?

        Jimmy: Trouble is, businesses want to believe it

        cow: WRONG

        Unfortunately most leaders who make these decisions dont believe in anything.

        Firstly you have to appreciate two things...

        1- they lie, thats their main attribute and only skill

        2- just because they say something doesnt mean they believe.

        Most leaders only make announcements and decisions because they want to APPEAR to be doing the right thing, because its TRENDY. THeir decisions almost always have nothin g to do with them actually understanding the topic and even if they did, they dont care because they are not planning for the future.

        Even if they make mistakes they still get millions which is a joke considering they have zero actual skills.

        Amazing hou actually think leaders BELIEVE what they say - clue up they dont.

    2. Snake Silver badge

      Re: How can they believe this crap?

      Of course you are right, it is indeed predictive texting on steroids.


      How about 20 years from now?? What then? Entire sub-classes of society without employment at a level where they can sustain themselves, because Profit is All and it was cheaper to make a machine to do the work.

      We've been here before, you remember the 1800's. We do indeed need to start thinking about what will change, how it will change, and figure it out before we end up with poor houses again.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: How can they believe this crap?


        None of us here remember the 1800s. Unless there's a greybeard hiding on here with the secret to immortality and some original manuals to Babbage's Difference Engine banging on about how these young whipper-snappers with their COBOL don't know they've been born! And we 'ad it tough in our day!

        But one of the features of the industrial revolution was that vast numbers of jobs got replaced or mechanised, and yet the economies boomed, due to this new productivity, and everyone got richer - at least as a collective. There were some skilled trades that suffered, like weavers for example, who lost both status and income. But many new higher status / higher income trades were also created - in vastly more numbers than those that became obsolete.

        if machine learning is really capable of all this wonderful stuff, it's still going to need people to wrangle it, prompt it, program it, coddle its massive requirements in servers, cooling and power and then those companies that make a success of it will have capital to invest in doing other things that will require staff. Genuine AI may be either a threat, or an opportunity to live in a post-scarcity Utopia (like the Culture or Star Trek) - but machine learning is just another tool.

        1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

          Re: How can they believe this crap?

          "everyone got richer - at least as a collective"

          There were a lot of very poor people too. In 1850 the infant mortality rate (death before 5th birthday) in British cities was 50%. Yes, that is half of all babies born in British cities in 1850 died before their 5th birthday. These were the days of Dickens' crusades against poverty, with books like 'Hard Times'* and 'Nicholas Nickleby'** showing the wealthy middle class how the poor people 'lived'. The UK economy might have boomed, but it was mostly the already rich and powerful who benefitted. The poor still lived (and died) in slums and poverty. In 1870 Doctor Barnardo founded his first children's home for orphans. The history of revolutionary changes to industry is one of increased disparity in personal wealth, health and privilege. The mean per capita wealth of the UK might have gone up, but it was concentrated in few individuals. (Sorry)

          * Pub August 1854

          ** Pub October 1839

          1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

            Re: How can they believe this crap?

            The difference between the 19th century and now is democracy. (Stop laughing there at the back.) Up here around Manchester when the USA decided it was time to have a civil war the area was heavily affected, coz no cotton was shipped out, and all those weavers had nowt to work with, so they were simply told to bugger off. They had no power at all as most were not allowed to vote.

            But now it's different. As more and more people become poorer -- unless they are convinced democracy is no longer valuable -- they could vote for UBI to force all those who make money simply on their wealth to share some through the power of government to everyone. But given brexit, it's clear many folks are pretty stupid. So while they could do something about it, they probably won't.

            Look -- there's a squirrel with two penises...

            OK, I'll take questions. You guys at the back, the ones laughing...

            1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

              Re: How can they believe this crap?

              Zo wheen a eye kalls meeee eye annesir width meye hellpfool achsent, fuch a eye, its hitty ... AI totally ignores me.

            2. Bebu Silver badge

              A long position on cotton then ;)

              when the USA decided it was time to have a civil war the area was heavily affected, coz no cotton was shipped out,

          2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: How can they believe this crap?

            Eclectic Man,

            There were a lot of very poor people too. In 1850 the infant mortality rate (death before 5th birthday) in British cities was 50%.

            Do you have figures for that? By 1850 (I admit I'm going from memory here) the UK was the most urbanised country in the world. Rural population was down to maybe 10% - but my quick search only gave total national death rates. So cities may have been much worse than towns? But not only were death rates much lower than that by 1850 - they were also dropping dramatically.

            linky to Statista

            So by 1850 child mortality at age 5 was down to 27% of live births. In 1800 it had been 33%. By 1900 it was down to 23%. There was also major reform to improve working conditions. With the two Factory Acts of 1833 and 1844.

            GDP was also rising rapidly. There's a nice series of GDP per capita (PPP) in constant modern dollars that I've found before link to Wiki (UK is at the top of the table). This shows that from 1000AD to 1700, GDP per capita had barely doubled in 700 years. It rose by 50% in the 18th Century alone - don't make me repeat all the essays I was forced to write on when the Industrial Revolution really started or I'll cry. From 1800 to 1914 GDP per capita had more than doubled! So growth was accelerating in the 19th Century.

            It was surprisingly hard to find data on wages in a useful format. I did find the average wage in 1850 for a ditch digger who provided their own boots though - but it didn't give the wage for the guy who turned up and had to have boots provided...

            You might want to move the slider from 2015 across to around 1900 to make the 19th C look a bit less compressed

            As you can see inflation adjusted wages are stagnant to falling in the 18th Century, until you get to the Napoleonic Wars. I'm surprised that the post war recession isn't deeper - certainly the political history of the period suggests that it was. But inflation adjusted wages double between 1820 and 1866 (they'd double again by 1942). GDP per capita only rises by about 50% over that same period (1820-1870). Which would suggest that the early gains of GDP growth went into profit and investment into new factories, partly because a new workforce were being drawn into cities off the land. Once Britain had urbanised, there wasn't that pool of labour to draw on and wages had to rise. Real wages double again between 1942 and 1976 and then double again by 2002.

            1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

              Re: How can they believe this crap?

              My mistake, sorry re infant mortality rates. See:

              (mistook 18th century for 1800's - what a silly billy!)

              "1. Infant and child mortality more than doubled between the sixteenth and the middle of the eighteenth century in both wealthy and non-wealthy families.

              2. Mortality peaked in the middle of the eighteenth century at a very high level, with nearly two-thirds of all children — rich and poor — dying by their fifth birthday.

              3. Mortality under the age of two fell sharply after the middle of the eighteenth century, and older child mortality decreased mainly during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. By the second quarter of the nineteenth century about 30 per cent of all children had died within the first five years. This latter fall in mortality appears to have occurred equally amongst both the wealthy and the non-wealthy population."

              However, I stand by my point that there were still a lot very poor people in the 19th century UK. (And there still are.). And that a lot of the wealth created by mechanisation of manufacturing processes went to the owners, rather than the workers.

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                Re: How can they believe this crap?

                Eclectic Man,

                Thanks for your post. What's 100 years between friends...

                If I remember the figures correctly (and I can't be arsed to look them up), London had a negative natural population growth from the early Middle Ages right up until about 1750. What that means is that more Londoners died than the natural replacement rate, becaue the place was so unsanitory. And London had to import residents from the rest of the country just to keep a stable population - and it pretty much grew constantly over this period. Suggesting that the streets of London were not so much paved with gold, as with dead Londoners.

                Back to the topic though. I don't dispute with you that there was a lot of poverty or inequality. However what I said was that industrialisation led to growth which led to increases in wealth for everyone. Or at least most people.

                As I showed in my previous post, there was a period from 1820-1870 where GDP per capita only increased by 50% while inflation-adjusted wages doubled. Which means the greedy capitalists lost out to th poor down-trodden workers.

                In the 50 years before that, real wage growth was much worse - partly because of a quarter century long war and partly because there were more workers coming in from the countryside suppressing wage growth.

                The point is that the capitalists need capital, which means they need profits, but they also need workers. And if you've got lots of capitalists wanting to make cash, they'll eventually end up competing for those workers with improvements in pay and conditions.

                Also, being a period of rapid technological change means the standard of living probably improved even more than that. My first PC, bottom of the range 386, was about £1,400 in the early 90s. Nowadays I can buy a pretty nice laptop, an iPad and have change for a decent meal or two. In the 19th Century you could now buy cheap cotton clothes, rather than having to buy scratchy wool (products of the new factories), you could have decent steel cutlery and nice ceramic plates and cups - from mass production of pottery around Stoke and steel in Sheffield.

                Shipping had become vastly cheaper, with improved technology. Thus things like sugar and tea, which were unaffordable luxuries in the 18th Century were now available to even the working classes. Domestic ovens were being mass-produced by the 1850s - which meant you no longer needed to go to the local bakery to use their ovens to do your baking (pies and bread) - and you didn't have to cook on open fires anymore.

                There's another fascinating graph somewhere on the collapse in the cost of light. Up until the 18th Century you basically had to go to bed at sundown, unless you were hidesously wealthy, because candles were extremely expensive. By the end of the 19th Century even relatively poor people had gas lighting, and lamps and candles were dirt-cheap. Sadly a lot of the lamp oil was from slaughtering whales on an industrial scale - but I never said anything was perfect.

                But it's becoming an increasingly popular narrative that evil capitalist eat all the pie, and the poor workers have never got nothing. And it's bollocks. Everyone in this country is vastly richer than everyone 100 years ago, and they were loads richer than everyone a century before.

        2. Lomax

          Re: How can they believe this crap?

          What made us all richer was not the machines but the organisation of labour and the introduction of universal suffrage. Early industrialised society was a hell-hole for the vast majority. Capitalism will eat itself if left unchecked and like a cancer will kill the host in the process.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How can they believe this crap?

      Doesn't matter how shit it is, the board has been sold on the idea that if they get in AI it'll replace some of theose expensive meatbags on the helpdesk, development, HR, legal etc.

      They don't give a crap if it works or not as long as they look like they have saved money on the payroll.

      Shareholders can sniff extra money coming their through this 'efficiency' for a couple of years which is enough. After that when everyone realises that these tools were smoke and mirrors and they've just made everything shittier than ever they'll just do a financial twist and spin down the company for a few more coppers.

      The AI that actually works is pretty dull and isn't generative but isn't controversial either

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How can they believe this crap?

        And the shareholders (ie money) will simply sell up and move onto the next gig. 'Twas ever thus.

      2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        Re: How can they believe this crap?

        Said before and will say it again, the real problem is the culture of executives and leadership who continue to make BAD and COSTLY decisions that help nobody and make it worse for everyone.

        In AU the biggest supermarket went crazy trying to replace people with self serve checkouts, of course they are useless, and of course that was wasted money and in the end they still need people to watch the self serve checkout.

        Did they save anything - of course not, they spent a shitload and made things worse and fired a lot of people.

        Trying to be greedy actually meant they made things worse and lost shitloads of money.

        I wont repeat what Amazon did im sure there are plenty of other examples around thew orld.

    4. Oliver Snowden

      Re: How can they believe this crap?

      I can get things done with ~25% of effort now. Cloud management, Github Actions, software creation...currently using the remaining 75% to stay on top of the developments. Screaming "it is #hit" won't end well...similar to all the folks shouting "Bitcoin is a ponzi". I'd suggest you spend more time with these computer science breakthroughs...and working out how you can apply them to your advantage.

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Re: How can they believe this crap?

        Any serious software creation using these tools needs more time to review whatever's been generated to make sure it's accurate, efficient, and secure. That hasn't reduced the work load, just shifted it from creation to code review. And spending your time crafting the copilot queries instead of just writing the damn code. People will forget how to actually code.

        Sure, it'll help with boilerplate (class skeletons, function description headers etc., but there are plenty of existing tools to help there already that don't need AI to do it).

        Summarising existing code to help new devs understand what's going on... might work in cases where the code is doing common, run of the mill things like sorting. Get it to accurately summarise the coded equivlent of a differential equation solver, explaining what it's solving, and more importantly why, and I'll be more impressed. But I don't see how it can do that, because it won't have contextual understanding. Any understanding, really.

        1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

          Re: How can they believe this crap?

          Has anyone investigated the relative difficulties of writing code by human and checking AI written code by human? I know there are automated tools for checking code, such things as unused variables, lengths of variables in fields / arrays, etc. and basic 'housekeeping' like not leaving external files open when not needed, but I mean actually checking that the code does what is required, efficiently.

          As 'C' has been described as a 'write only' language, I can only imagine the horror of checking AI generated code with AI generated comments, or completely uncommented AI code in anything like that or more modern languages.

          1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

            Re: How can they believe this crap?

            eman: Has anyone investigated the relative difficulties of writing code by human and checking AI written code by human?

            cow: Ask yourself this question...

            How is AI going to know what to do ?

            How can it possibly know that there is a bug in that when this happens if all AI has learnt is by reading stuff on the internet ?

            If you or me read everything on the internet, and lets pretend we understand it all,, how exaclty does that help solve or fix a business problem/bug in a system that has none of its details on the internet ?

            Simpler question.

            If you ask Ai for your favourite ice cream, how can it possibly know the answer if you never write this on thee internet ? It cant. Programming is not an exercise in writing code, is mostly an exercise is translating human requirements into code, and that like i said befor requires context.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. cschneid


    This seems like the outsourcing trend all over again.

    Management has been saying "Who will rid me of these turbulent programmers" at least since the 1982 publication of _Application Development Without Programmers_.

    I have no doubt that many unfortunate IT staff will lose their jobs, and those that remain will be told they have no excuse for not taking up the slack because they have been provided with Copilot or some other such tool. Time will pass, there will be turnover, and eventually there will be another hiring wave.

    Kind of like insourcing after the outsourcing.

    1. Bebu Silver badge

      Re: Outsourcing

      "Who will rid me of these turbulent..."

      Didn't work out ideally for the priest or for the king either.

      There has been glacial progress in the four decades since. Developers (some) now use much higher level tools and abstractions more often design than coding. Still a dog's breakfast.

  6. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

    Tiny wave

    So far I haven't seen useful impact except replacing tedious work (breast cancer X-rays).

    But I do believe that AI will progress much more swiftly than say, quantum computers or nuclear fusion, and will therefore have more influence in the short to medium term.

  7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "tasks currently arrogated to elite experts, such as doctors, lawyers, software engineers, and college professors."

    Expert systems, in fact. Remind me what happened to those last time round.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The biggest saving would be to replace CEOs with LLMs, and nobody would notice.

  9. MSArm

    Heard it all before

    Weren't we all doomed at the beginning of the internet in the early 1990s?

    Tomorrow's World used to highlight the utopia of the future when we would do banking and shopping from home and have increased leisure time.

    Funny old world isn't it?

  10. WayneS

    Its not an AI issue...

    To be clear, it would seem the tsunami is related to the ADOPTION of this tech to replace humans is the issue - not that it exists. That it exists in the first place, and the creators doing the usual technologist 'Pontius Pilate handwashing' of the effects of their creation, is another aspect of humanities penchant for giving up a sense of personal agency. The technologist says 'it is new and exciting to me, how it gets used is not my problem' - flacid much?

    Sometimes it seems we give up the effect of human agency in the adoption of technology.

    1. Bebu Silver badge

      Re: Its not an AI issue...

      "To be clear, it would seem the tsunami is related to the ADOPTION of this tech to replace humans"

      It is said that the classical world didn't develop or adopt practical applications of the technologies of which they were apparently aware (eg Antikythera mechanism) because slave labour was relatively plentiful and cheap.

      I suspect deploying AI/LLM in many practical applications will never be economic not that will stop the clowns in this circus from trying.

  11. martinusher Silver badge

    The Magic of the Market

    One slight problem with this is that you need people earning money in order to spend that money in order to keep your businesses afloat. This is best illustrated by the quote attributed to Henry Ford who thought that assembly lines could only work if the people working on them earned enough money to be able to buy the products the lines made. This sort of obviousness eludes a lot of economic thinking, both old and new. Our brew of capitalism assumed infinite resources and infinite markets -- so what if a huge number of people are put out of work? There's always more. This kind of thinking cased resource depletion, despoliation and general degradation of our world because back in the 16th century it may well have been true for the little worlds that people lived in then. These days, life doesn't work like that. You fish out the sea, clear all the trees and generally Pave Paradise and what do you get? Barren, unproductive, land and endemic poverty.

    Anyway, I suppose the last of us could always eat the IMF. It may come to that. Capitalism as we know it only knows expansion and when it runs out of things and people to exploit it invariably turns to war as a handy way of maintain production and a docile populace. The snag is, we're on to them.....

  12. Bebu Silver badge

    Pray for a Carrington Event then...

    Topical given the recent aurorael :)

    I suspect the grande poohbah of the IMF might be suffering from decreased relevance syndrome as the globe again fragments into isolated economic and geopolitical blocs.

    Rather Chicken Little "the sky is falling" - of course everyone looks up (and has their wallet stolen.)

  13. Lomax

    We're gonna need a bigger basket...

    ...if we're going to be able to put all our eggs into this one.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The IMF MD said that businesses and populations need to prepare for it.

    I'm stunned by this disclosure, any insider tips from her about the 'how'? Other than the usual post-WW3 checklist?

  15. Curious

    Would employees pay for our LLM manager?

    Would a substantial proportion of employees pay their own money for a quality checking LLM 'manager' under their own control, which has the purpose to advise the employee that the work they are about to submit is garbage / problematic / land them in legal hot water; point at remedies and improvements that can reduce later hassle and rework?

    i.e. industry specific Grammarly that makes us look better and more competent to others.

    or Soar Scribe that assesses the words used by meeting participants and assigns a sentiment to the participant's contributions overall. And can be useful to revise a remembered sentiment which can be misleadingly skewed by personal dislikes such as tone of voice, or mishearing, or having-a-bad-day distortions.

    In the IMF post, 60% of jobs are described as exposed, 1/2 improving value, 1/2 at risk of reduction. Isn't that the same ancient mantra of 1/3 of society are for Ark B?

    There's loads of jobs that could be done by million quid robots at vastly improved speed but the bottlenecks feeding the robot, setup and protection costs around the robot would mean it's wasted investment and cheaper to pay a person to apply a bottlecap and put in a box.

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