Dreaming of a four-day workweek? This billionaire wants people to work just 12 hours a week, with some help from artificial intelligence.
Alibaba Group chairman and billionaire Jack Ma recently advocated for an even shortened workweek at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai. Speaking to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Ma said future technology could reduce the burden of employers while allowing more time for free time.
“The power of electricity is that we make people more time so that you can go to karaoke or dancing party in the evening. I think because of artificial intelligence, people will have more time enjoying being human beings,” Ma said, via Bloomberg.
“For the next 10, 20 years, every human being, country, the government should focus on reforming the education system, making sure our kids can find a job, a job that only requires three days a week, four hours a day. … If we don’t change the education system we are in, we will all be in trouble.”
According to Ma, people in the future should work only three days a week, with only four hours a day spent in an office chair. He stressed that with the rise in AI along with a revamping of today’s education system, kids of the future will be able to find a job that is less stressing as the ones today.
Ma became the latest world figure to advocate for a shortened working week. Two experts — Adam Grant, a psychologist from the Wharton School and Rutger Bregman, an economist and historian — recently said that employers should embrace a four-day workweek at Davos 2019.
“I think we have some good experiments showing that if you reduce work hours, people are able to focus their attention more effectively, they end up producing just as much, often with higher quality and creativity, and they are also more loyal to the organizations that are willing to give them the flexibility to care about their lives outside of work,” Grant said.
In New Zealand, one company did a trial run of a shortened workweek over a month in 2018. The run was so successful that the company decided to adopt it into a full-time policy late last year.