Basic Income and the Rise of AI

in basicincome •  4 years ago  (edited)

Automation will for the first time outpace our ability to create new jobs, necessitating basic income.

The focus of my current studies is Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (Masters), while previously I studied Financial Economics and Finance (Masters). I consider basic income to be the obvious solution in the face of work force automation in order to prevent civil unrest. Note that I use the term "AI" as an umbrella term for advances in machine learning, natural language processing, image processing, robotics, etc, not in the "general AI" sense of human-like intelligent agents.

The argument against the loss of jobs in the face of AI-driven automation is that historically, we've gone through several phases of automation and each time new jobs sprang up to balance things out. These days, however, a very large chunk of jobs that exist, once automated, will not be easily replaced. Furthermore, I believe there has been a steady decline in the true value-quality of many jobs as we've shifted to a service economy, but this is a discussion for another time. I encourage you to read this 2013 paper from Oxford University which suggests 47% of total US employment is at risk of being automated. There are many other guesses, but this one is relatively in depth and on the conservative side. Here is the paper summed up in one graph:

Oxford Paper

Additionally, we should all be familiar with the growing disconnect between productivity and worker compensation, known as wage stagnation.
Productivity Graph

There is no pressure in our economy to increase wages, and thus wealth inequality is ballooning as those that own the means of production reap the benefits of technology-driven production increases.

The above-mentioned trend is the key to understanding the issue looming ahead. As the rate of job automation increases along with the rapid pace of progress in the world of machine learning, the benefits will be entirely captured by the proverbial 1%. This will be a veritable race to the bottom as corporations automate and displace workers, while sucking up money from the shrinking middle class which still holds jobs.

If by this time basic income has not been implemented, social, political, and economic upheaval will be severe. People will have no way to support themselves, and corporations will have no one to buy their products. We will find ourselves in the ironic position of having everything but being able to afford nothing. The economy will implode.

Basic income is the mostly realistic solution I see to this problem.

edit: Fixed image links as imgur blocks steemit

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  ·  4 years ago Reveal Comment

Sadly, politicians will be the last to let go of their power. This is unfortunate, because a benevolent dictator AI would be the best government we could hope for.

So cool to see others talking about the relationship between Basic Income and the coming wave of automation and A.I. I posted a couple articles on this you may also enjoy. I'd love your comments on them.

The Morality of Artificial Intelligence
Does the World Need a Universal Basic Income? Could Steem Power It?

Artificial Intelligence make me scare some time , robots are taking human's jobs since couple years, i did not studied economics but i think it will be catastrophic in a few years if humans only consume with no source if income

As someone who has studied economics at the masters level, how do you propose to overcome the inflation that will come from everyone earning a base income of X? X is going to become the new 0.

It's an honest question, and no one has ever been able to give me an answer to this. I'm not a masters economics student, but I understand basic supply/demand and inflation and have never been able to get my head around how basic income is ever an option that will be viable in the long term - unless we can get everything is automated.

  ·  4 years ago (edited)

It's not inflation, no new money is issued.
But of course demand for certain products will go up, resulting in a higher price for those. The difficult thing is finding the balance where the basic income can still cover the basic needs. We're not short in essentials though, so it'd mostly affect (unexpensive) "luxury" articles anyway.