Nice article. I disagree though that most AI researchers are motivated by the good that automation will do. They're not that naive. I think Oppenheimer had it right: scientists want to work on projects that are "technically sweet". AI is definitely that.
But I totally agree that the real world impact of AI will be like evolution -- following a pattern of punctuated equilibria where disruption arises in chuncks as each significant skill area is usurped by automation (like car/truck drivers, then call centers, then retail clerks, then jobs requiring physical skills).
That said, once the first skill area falls that requires substantial linguistic facility (like a call center), I see most white collar jobs tumbling like dominos soon thereafter. Once machines can converse using speech and perform the simple logical deductions/inferences that humans do, would anyone hire a human for an office job ever again?