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Ray Dalio says AI could create a 3-day workweek

Ray Dalio says AI could create a 3-day workweek


AI has become both a Wall Street buzzword and a source of widespread existential fears over the last year—but its benefits could be “mind blowing,” according to legendary investor Ray Dalio.

Dalio—who founded Bridgewater Associates in the 1970s and built it into the world’s biggest hedge fund—said at the Milken Institute’s Asia Summit on Thursday that the world was on the cusp of various “great disruptions.”

He named five “issues of our time” that, he argued, were set to interact and transform the way the world works: unprecedented debt creation, internal political conflict in countries like the U.S., the changing world order, climate change and technological breakthroughs.

When it came to the latter of those “forces,” AI was going to be a major transformative power, according to Dalio, who described the technology as “like nuclear, just more powerful.”

“In terms of productivity, it could be mind-blowing,” he predicted. “There are going to be robots with AI – you’re making people, almost. If it’s managed well, I think that the workweek could lessen. Maybe … the workweek goes to a three-day workweek or so.”

However, he warned that unless interventions were made, only a proportion of society would see the benefits of those changes.

“The issue is going to be an argument about what to do and how to do it,” he said, noting that as AI disrupts the jobs market some workers will find themselves with little or no usefulness in the new economy while others will still be “diligently at it.”

 “There’ll be these big, huge wealth implications [of that],” he said.

Since the phenomenal rise of OpenAI’s generative AI chatbot ChatGPT, billions of dollars have been poured into the development of artificial intelligence. However, the AI boom has prompted warnings that millions of workers could be displaced by machines, potentially boosting corporate earnings but widening the wealth gap.

Mindful policymakers needed

Policymakers and other stakeholders involved in the implementation of AI needed to be mindful that the technology’s potential benefits don’t exacerbate inequality, Dalio argued during the Milken Institute event last week.

“With the productivity [benefits] there have to be decisions made around how that will be shared,” he said.

Dalio said reforms were needed to ensure wealth inequality was not exacerbated by all of the looming societal disruptions. However,…

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