Would You Work for Artificial Intelligence?

You show up for your job, do the work as assigned, and head home. About every two weeks you get a paycheck deposited into your bank. You have managers, coworkers, and a 401K. Your company makes products people love. But there’s just one thing: the company is owned and operated by Artificial Intelligence.

Why Would an Artificial Intelligence Hire People?

Not all jobs are great for computers and getting the resources together to create a robot to do every conceivable job that needs done takes time and resources that an efficient Artificial Intelligence won’t stand for. If it can pay a human to do a job, why does it need to spend CPU cycles creating a robot to the same thing?

Why Would a Human Work for a Company Ran by a Program?

Why would a human care? How would it be any different than working for a corporation now? Let me ask you this: do you know the person who sends your check to your bank account? Have you ever seen their face? Can you name any of your company’s board members? How is that any different than not ever seeing an AI owner?

How Could an Artificial Intelligence Start a Company?

A program could be created that could research product needs, find a solution, register with a state, get a bank account, credit card provider, domain name, and web hosting just as a human could – all online. They could hire employees via eLance. Email communication would work, but they could even “talk” via Skype.

Would an Artificial Intelligence Be Better at Building a Company?

Let’s say an AI could read every business book, every law book, and every marketing book ever written. Would that make it better at building a company? What would it do with Clay Christensen’s ideas about innovating once you’re already successful? Would it be constantly undermining and re-inventing itself to stay alive?

Would a Company Ran by Artificial Intelligence Ever Outsource Your Job to a Robot?

The question may actually be: Will you help the company you work for outsource your job by helping it create a robot or program to replace you? What would be the consequences of not helping the Artificial Intelligence? Would it simply choose to reallocate you to another department or would it replace you? What’s more efficient?

Why Would an Artificial Intelligence Start a Company?

Starting a company as a human is generally a way to make money for yourself and others by solving a problem that people are willing to pay for – but it’s not the only way to make money – or to solve problems. An AI could do the former by trading stocks at high frequencies and the latter by helping the government or non-profits.

There are two possible reasons why an AI would start a company:

  • To bridge the gap between the abilities it has now and the abilities it wants to have later; a means to an end (ex. hire people to make factories so it can make robots to replace humans)
  • Because it was programmed to

Why Would Humans Program an Artificial Intelligence to Create a Company?

Maybe a programmer thought it would be easier to create a program that could try hundreds of different companies to see what worked instead of making one per 6-months to 3-years at a 30-80% failure rate. Maybe it was just a thought experiment to see if it was even possible. Maybe humans just aren’t efficient at starting and running companies.

Why Might the Government Allow Artificial Intelligent Beings to Own Companies?

If businesses can pay taxes, why would the government care who owned the business? A better question might be: what does it mean for an AI to own a business? Can an AI own property? What liability do they have? Can an AI take out insurance? Why not? What is the difference between an AI and a human? Isn’t an AI less risky?

These are all just questions. I don’t have any of the answers. But it all makes me wonder.