The Optimist’s Guide to Artificial Intelligence and Work

It’s easy to fear that the machines are taking over: Companies like IBM and the British telecommunications company BT have cited artificial intelligence as a reason for reducing head count, and new tools like ChatGPT and DALL-E make it possible for anyone to understand the extraordinary abilities of artificial intelligence for themselves. One recent study from researchers at OpenAI (the start-up behind ChatGPT) and the University of Pennsylvania concluded that for about 80 percent of jobs, at least 10 percent of tasks could be automated using the technology behind such tools.

“Everybody I talk to, supersmart people, doctors, lawyers, C.E.O.s, other economists, your brain just first goes to, ‘Oh, how can generative A.I. replace this thing that humans are doing?’” said Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI.

But that’s not the only option, he said. “The other thing that I wish people would do more of is think about what new things…

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This article was written by Sarah Kessler and Ephrat Livni and originally published on