OpenAI CEO on the Potential of AI to Break Capitalism

ODSC - Open Data Science
3 min readFeb 24, 2023

Artificial intelligence is on everyone’s mind right now due to how it has made waves in multiple industries. Because of this, OpenAI’s CEO believes it’s poised to shake the economic model of capitalism. In a recent interview with Forbes, Sam Altman shared his thoughts on how AI could impact capitalism and what the future might look like with AI. “I think capitalism is awesome. I love capitalism…Of all of the bad systems the world has, it’s the best one — or the least bad one we found so far. I hope we find a way better one.

He went on to state that he believes that AI will play a significant role in shaping the future economy. Sam points to machines that will soon become capable of performing more complex tasks that were once the sole domain of humans. In a utopian view, he feels that AI could lead to a world where people have abundant free time, and machines do most of the work. “I think that if AGI really truly fully happens…I can imagine all these ways that it breaks capitalism.”

In such a world, the concept of work would change, and people would no longer need to work to earn a living. Sam Altman believes that this change could lead to a new economic system that is not based on capitalism, where people are no longer driven by the need to make money. Instead, people would have more time to focus on creativity, relationships, and personal growth, leading to a more fulfilling life. If that sounds familiar, it’s one that was dreamt up by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry to describe the post-scarcity economic order of Earth in the 24th century.

But there are issues and Sam Altman sees some of the problems that can arise due to AI and the monumental societal changes that could be upon us in the near future. He spoke about the transition, and how with any major change we’ve seen in the past, significant changes to economic systems have come with rough waters. This is why he believes that we need to start preparing for this future by developing new systems and policies to support a world where AGI is the dominant form of intelligence. Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, hinted at this as well when he spoke about how workers should embrace AI, instead of fighting against its growth.

Sam Altman’s thoughts on the potential of AI to break capitalism provide a thought-provoking glimpse into the future. While we cannot predict the exact impact of AI on the economy and politics, it is clear that AI will play a significant role in shaping our future.

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