FACT CHECK: No, Klaus Schwab Did Not Say Humans Who ‘Refuse’ Artificial Intelligence Would ‘Become Extinct’

Jesse Stiller | Contributor

A post shared on Facebook claims World Economic Forum (WEF) Chairman Klaus Schwab that any humans who “refused” to accept artificial intelligence (AI) would be “extinct.”

Verdict: False

The claim stems from The People’s Voice, a website that has repeatedly published false information. Schwab has not made such remarks.

Fact Check:

A top U.S. economist, Goldman Sachs Chief Economist Jan Hatzius, warned that the growth of AI could “destroy employment in some areas” despite other areas using AI as a tool for growth, according to CNN. The Department of Homeland Security plans to incorporate generative AI across multiple divisions, The New York Times reported.

The Facebook post claims that Schwab recently stated that anyone who refused to “merge with AI” would be “extinct.” The post links to a video on YouTube discussing the report, along with the narrator reading verses from The Bible.

The claim is false. The post stems from The People’s Voice, which has been fact-checked numerous times in the past for false information. Schwab in particular has been targeted by the outlet with false quotes or other remarks taken out of context.

“Regarding the quote attributed to Mr. Klaus Schwab, we can confirm that he did not make the statement that ‘humans who refuse to merge with AI will become extinct,'” Jesus Serrano, a spokesperson for the WEF, told Check Your Fact in an email. “The claim circulating online is false.”

Schwab recently spoke about AI in January 2024 during an interview with TIME Magazine. Schwab warned that the technology could impact consumption patters and individual behavior. (REALTED: No, Klaus Schwab Did not Admit ‘Political Revolution’ Is Destroying His ‘Great Reset’ Agenda)

“Artificial intelligence is a complete game changer for business models, but also for individual consumption patterns, for individual behavior. It has an impact on education, on health, and so on,” Schwab told the magazine. “So this will be a major issue in Davos, to look at artificial intelligence—and not just for governments, which now preoccupy the public discussion.”

During the Davos gathering later that month, several figures, including OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, warned of the dangers posed by the technology if not appropriately developed or used. However, most speakers did express optimism at opportunities posed by AI as a whole.

Jesse Stiller