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AI expert warns tech could replace 40 percent of world's jobs in little as 15 years

AI expert warns tech could replace 40 percent of world's jobs in little as 15 years

Blue-collar and professional jobs at risk but drivers may feel impact first

An artificial intelligence expert is warning that robots could replace as much as 40 percent of the world's jobs in as little as 15 years.

What are the details?

Kai Fu Lee, an artificial intelligence expert and venture capitalist, made the comment on CBS' "60 Minutes" news program Sunday. According to Lee, blue-collar and professional jobs will be impacted, but those who drive for a living may be affected first.

"Chauffeurs, truck drivers, anyone who does driving for a living, their jobs will be disrupted more in the 15-25-year time frame," Lee said on the program. "Many jobs that seem a little bit complex, chef, waiter, a lot of things will become automated."

Lee cited other major developments such as steam engine and electricity, which also made tremendous impacts on society. But artificial intelligence could have an even bigger impact, he said.

Asked what AI could do, Lee replied: "Well, in some sense, there is the human wisdom that always overcomes these technological revolutions. The invention of the steam engine, the sewing machine, electricity, have all displaced jobs. We've gotten over it. The challenge of AI is this 40 percent, whether it is 15 or 25 years, is coming faster than the previous revolutions."

And while AI currently handles relatively simple tasks, that could quickly expand into areas as complex as "writing novels or performing surgeries," Fox News noted.

During the interview, Lee said China is leading the way in AI, but the U.S. is its main competitor.

Any other warnings?

Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has also cautioned that the rapid development of artificial intelligence could disproportionately affect low-income workers and even entire communities. AI supporters, on the other hand, say they believe that as jobs are eliminated, new jobs will emerge.

Musk has warned that he believes autonomous machines are dangerous and capable of releasing "weapons of terror" that would trigger the next world war. He has also compared the rise of AI to "summoning the devil."

He has also compared so-called super computers to an "immortal dictator" that rules indefinitely.

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