Is the Universal Basic Income a good idea?

Posted on Posted in Artificial Intelligence

Hey my friends, this is the article 44 / 1000! For those who don’t know me, my name is Selim Chehimi and I’m an engineering student. I’ve been programming for 7 years now so you can tell that I really enjoy that. Those 7 years of programming lead me to Artificial Intelligence. I really want to be involved in AI so that’s the reason why I’m sharing this article with you. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Today, we’ll discuss AI and the Universal Basic Income.

To begin with, what is the Universal Basic Income (UBI)? Basically, it’s a form of social security in which all citizens of a country receive a set amount of money on a regular basis. This money is provided by the government or a similar public organization. The UBI is a right that is given in addition to any income for which a person works. The idea of UBI has resurfaced because of the rise of Artificial Intelligence and particularly of self-driving technology. These technologies could destroy a tremendous number of jobs and there is nothing we can do about it. We don’t even know how big the impact will be but an estimate (out of Oxford University) shows that 47% of U.S jobs are at risk of being automated. Fortunately, your job is safe if it’s creative or if it requires human interactions (robots are still very bad at these tasks).  At the recent World Government Summit in Dubai, Elon Musk said that autonomous technology will cause a huge level of unemployment and consequently some form of UBI is “going to be necessary”.

Is it a good idea?

From the point of view of economists, a UBI is not feasible because it’s too much expensive. In their opinion, if you want to offer a meaningful level of UBI, you must increase taxes which is… bad. Consequently, you either end up with a very low UBI or with a higher UBI with greater taxes than that we’re used to paying. In today’s world, the idea is not very popular, but it’s likely to change because of advancements in AI which could make humans unemployable. First for jobs like truck driving and then most types of work. The UBI may become not just an option but a necessity. In my opinion, a future where work and wages are not tied together may be better. I like the idea of UBI because I think that it could improve the welfare of the poor and lead to the end of poverty.

Thanks so much for reading, that’s the end of Article 44. Please, share it and don’t forget to follow me on social media. You can also subscribe to my newsletter below to never miss any article. Don’t hesitate to tell me what you think of this Article in the comments and stay tuned for another one tomorrow!

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