Start at the top: Why 'expensive' CEOs should be the first ones replaced by AI

Start at the top: Why 'expensive' CEOs should be the first ones replaced by AI
Fortune 500 CEOs in 2015 (Creative Commons)

Back in 1914, the ultimate capitalist CEO, Henry Ford, made an argument that liberals, progressives and union leaders are still echoing in 2023. Ford said, in essence, that workers needed a living wage in order to afford the products he was producing.

Ford's argument still rings true at a time when a wide variety of workers fear that artificial intelligence (AI) will make them unemployed.

In an article published by Business Insider on September 11, reporter Ed Zitron argues that if AI should put anyone out of work, it's CEOs.

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"From writers and teachers to bankers and lawyers, most jobs seem ripe to be replaced by artificial intelligence — with one notable exception," Zitron explains. "The only job that seems to be safe from the rise of ChatGPT and other AI tech is, oddly enough, the most expensive and easily automated role: CEO."

The journalist continues, "Chief executives have recently spent a lot of time threatening to replace their lazy, entitled and unproductive workers with AI, but they never seem to face the same level of scrutiny other employees do. Look a little closer, though, and it becomes clear that the role of the modern CEO is not only broken, as I've pointed out before, but it could easily be done by the technology we have now."

Zitron goes on to note that CEOs typically "make over 300 times more than the average worker" despite not being an "actual contributor to a company's bottom line." CEOs, he writes, operate based on "spreadsheets" that are "fed to them by consultants" yet lack a "real understanding of the business."

"The solution is fairly simple: We must hold CEOs accountable in the same way that we do their employees or dissolve the role entirely," Zitron emphasizes. "A chief executive must meaningfully contribute in a way that is measurable and delivers clear value for the company. Failing that, I would argue that the opaque role of the CEO should be the first one to be replaced by artificial intelligence."

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Read Business Insider's full article at this link.

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