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AI expert warns automation could take 40% of jobs by 2035

Delivery robots in restaurants
Delivery robots send dishes to tables in Beijing. Photo: Xinhua/Chen Junqing via Getty Images

40% of the world’s jobs could be done by machines as soon as 15 years from now, one of the world’s foremost experts on artificial intelligence, venture capitalist Kai-Fu Lee, tells Scott Pelley on the upcoming Jan. 13 edition of "60 Minutes."

What he's saying: "AI will increasingly replace repetitive jobs, not just for blue collar work, but a lot of white collar work. ... Chauffeurs, truck drivers — anyone who does driving for a living — their jobs will be disrupted ... in the 15- to 25-year time frame."

"Many jobs that seem a little bit complex — chef, waiter, a lot of things — will [also] become automated," Lee continues.

  • "I believe [AI] is going to change the world more than anything in the history of mankind. More than electricity."

Axios' Mike Allen asked Axios future editor Steve LeVine how we should think about this.

  • "Mike, yes this is credible," Steve emails. "It's the baseline consensus."
  • "The question then becomes can our societies train and retrain these workers — often in entirely different professions — fast enough to prevent a Gilded Age-style worker crisis."
  • "Since we have barely begun even talking about this, there are doubts and profound worries."

Go deeper: How the robot revolution is changing our lives