The trendy notion among some of the world’s best and brightest: The robots are taking over. Tesla’s TSLA, +2.83% Elon Musk is worried about it. So is Microsoft’s MSFT, +0.73% Bill Gates. And professor Stephen Hawking, too.
Time to add another member to the squad.
“I’ve seen what’s coming. And it’s a big self-driving truck that’s about to run over this economy. It’s very scary. I think we could have some very dark days ahead.”
Antonio Garcia Martinez
Martinez went on to predict that, “within 30 years, half of humanity won’t have a job. It could get ugly. There could be a revolution.”
This from a guy who once enjoyed the spoils of Silicon Valley success, including selling his online ad company to Twitter TWTR, +0.68% , linking up with Facebook, and writing a best-selling book. But he began seeing a grim future in 2015, one that made him take action.
His fears led him to leave his Bay Area home and live in the woods north of Seattle. “If the world really does end, there aren’t going to be many places to run,” he added.
Martinez pointed out during the interview that there are enough guns for every man, woman and child in this country, and they’re mostly in the hands of those about to feel the most impact.
“You don’t realize it but we’re in a race between technology and politics, and technologists are winning,” he said. “They’re way ahead.”
Martinez is specifically worried about how the combination of automation and artificial intelligence will develop faster than anybody is ready for.
“Every time I meet someone from outside Silicon Valley – a normy – I can think of 10 companies that are working madly to put that person out of a job,” he said.