With all of the chatter, predictions from experts, and research from renowned institutions around the world all forecasting that robot automation and artificial intelligence in the workplace could erase up to forty percent of the workforce could be erased by disruptive emerging technologies like driverless vehicles, robots, and AI, the obvious question is: What will happen to the millions of people who my be displaced (or whose jobs will be significantly diminished) by emerging technologies and how will they maintain themselves and their families?
It's a serious questions many economists, politicians and other assorted experts are just now starting to grapple with. The problem is that, if these technologies are going to be "ready for prime time" by the year 2025 (as many experts and tech developers forecast they will be), we are frighteningly short on time to figure out the solution to a problem that could cause painful spasms to our society the world over. Are we prepared to pay the immediate price for innovation and disruptive technologies?
The jobs most likely to be replaced by, or significantly impacted by, Robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) within 10 years include:
- taxi, bus and truck drivers
- financial advisors
- factory workers
- software developers
- healthcare workers
- data analysts
- call center workers
Although the idea of Universal Basic Income has been around for decades, nations around the world (including the United States) are giving Basic Minimum Income a hard look as a potential short-term, partial solution to the potential job loss from disruptive technologies. What would you do if your basic needs were taken care of?
In a recent interview with Wired, Barack Obama, Neural Nets, Self-Driving Cars, and the Future of the World, President Obama offered the following perspective on Universal Basic Income:
"Now, whether a universal income is the right model—is it gonna be accepted by a broad base of people?—that’s a debate that we’ll be having over the next 10 or 20 years. You’re also right that the jobs that are going be displaced by AI are not just low-skill service jobs; they might be high-skill jobs but ones that are repeatable and that computers can do. What is indisputable, though, is that as AI gets further incorporated, and the society potentially gets wealthier, the link between production and distribution, how much you work and how much you make, gets further and further attenuated—the computers are doing a lot of the work. As a consequence, we have to make some tougher decisions. We underpay teachers, despite the fact that it’s a really hard job and a really hard thing for a computer to do well. So for us to reexamine what we value, what we are collectively willing to pay for—whether it’s teachers, nurses, caregivers, moms or dads who stay at home, artists, all the things that are incredibly valuable to us right now but don’t rank high on the pay totem pole—that’s a conversation we need to begin to have." -- President Obama
We will cover:
- The history of Universal Basic Income and how it has evolved over the last several decades to its modern model.
- The Universal Basic Income ecosystem today. Who are the major players? Who are the loudest critics of Universal Basic Income and why?
- Which technologies cause the most immediate and long-lasting threat to the job market?
- How are the government and tech companies (the developers of the disruptive technologies) working together (or not, as the case may be) to educate the general public on the potential need for alternative sources of income, and what types of legislation are on the table to address this?
- How will Universal Basic Income change and restructure our social and economic order for the better and/or worse?
- What does this model mean for business owners, entrepreneurs and investors?
- If people rely on Universal Basic Income for their basic needs, what will they do to fulfill (or redefine) their purpose in society? What will bring them meaning?
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