Following the popularity of generative AI technology, plus the massive investments in the sector, young students are choosing to leave colleges to fully pursue their AI ideas, just like the early times of Mark Zuckerberg. Wall Street Journal observed that the trend is common among teenagers and others in their 20s.
Some Dropouts Fear AI Could Takeover Their Jobs
WSJ on Monday reported on Govind Gnanakumar, a 19-year-old, who dropped out of the Georgia Institute of Technology in May to fully concentrate on building an artificial-intelligence startup, Automorphic.
Gnanakumar’s startup aims to create AI-powered tools that can answer complex questions in subjects like genomics or patent law. Explaining his reason for the move, Gnanakumar said, “Someone is going to get their jobs automated away. I’d rather be doing the automating.”
The fear of AI displacing people from their jobs appears to be one big factor driving students to drop out and attempt to capitalise on the AI gold rush. Like Gnanakumar, Kevin Lu, another college dropout, also said: “By the time I graduate, I’m going to be replaced by AI […] “I’d rather be the one replacing people.”
Aged 20, Lu recently dropped out of the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, to also focus on building Sweep AI as the chief technology officer. The startup provides AI services that help junior programmers to automate certain tasks.
Not Everyone May Come Out At The Top
For one thing, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, among others, proved in their times that people don’t necessarily need a degree to build billion-dollar ideas.
Although not every dropout will end up becoming a household name, many have been able to chart their career paths through this route.
Jay Dang, 21, dropped out to launch FlowGPT, a suite of generative AI applications that can create games or do tasks like writing and editing. The company, with eight full-time workers, has raised $2 million with a $12 million valuation, which Dang is the best decision of his life.