Citadel’s Ken Griffin says he’s not convinced that AI will replace human jobs in the near future

Finance

Ken Griffin speaks to Citadel and Citadel Securities interns during a discussion moderated by Citadel software engineer, and former intern, Bharath Jaladi.
Courtesy: Citadel

Ken Griffin, founder and CEO of Citadel, said he remains skeptical that artificial intelligence could soon make human jobs obsolete as he sees flaws in machine learning models applied in certain scenarios.

“We are at what is widely viewed as a real inflection point in the evolution of technology, with the rise of large language models. Some are convinced that within three years almost everything we do as humans will be done in one form or another by LLMs and other AI tools,” Griffin said Friday during an event for Citadel’s new class of interns in New York. ”For a number of reasons, I am not convinced that these models will achieve that type of breakthrough in the near future.”

The rapid rise of AI has had the world pondering its far-reaching impact on society, including technology-induced job cuts. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, is among many who have repeatedly warned of the threats that AI poses to humanity. He has called AI “more dangerous” than nuclear weapons, saying there will come a point where “no job is needed.”

Griffin, whose hedge fund and electronic market maker have been at the forefront of automation, said machine-learning tools do have their limits when it comes to adapting to changes.

“Machine learning models do not do well in a world where regimes shift. Self-driving cars don’t work very well in the North due to snow. When the terrain changes, they have no idea what to do,” Griffin said. “Machine learning models do much better when there’s consistency.” 

Still, the billionaire investor thinks the power of advanced technology can’t be dismissed in the long term, and he even sees cancer being eradicated one day because of it.

“The rise of computing power is allowing us to solve all kinds of problems that were just simply not solvable five, 10, 15 years ago,” Griffin said. “This is going to radically transform healthcare. We will end cancer as you know it in your lifetime.” 

Citadel has long placed a great emphasis on hiring, not hesitant about putting responsibility into the hands of young employees and even interns, the CEO said.

The firm’s internship program has become one of the most competitive in the country. More than 85,000 students applied for about 300 positions this year, reflecting an acceptance rate of less than 0.5%, which is lower than that of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“The people we hire today are going to be the leaders of Citadel not in 30 or 40 years, but in just a few years,” Griffin said.

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