Nearly half of Americans are in favor of giving cash handouts of $500-$2,000 a month to residents when robots take their jobs.
A survey of 500 individuals in the U.S. released today found that 46 percent of people support the idea of a universal basic income, through which the government gives a cash handout to any resident, irrespective of employment status.
It is a long term concern however. I mean almost any job can ultimately be automated out of existence other than maybe the programmers of the robots (presuming they don’t develop robots capable of doing that).
Many jobs have already been “roboted” out of existence. There isn’t anyone welding or riveting cars together any more. Soon vehicles won’t need drivers. Most big planes don’t, but keep pilots mainly for the comfort of the passengers who don’t trust the computers and servo motors.
Most airliners don’t need pilots for the basic flying, however, they do still need pilots in order to respond to direction from air traffic controllers to change altitude/course/speed for spacing requirements. That hasn’t been automated yet.
However, they are also basically the emergency over-ride for when things go wrong. And at some point, things will go wrong.
“But as the idle robot arm on CIG’s packaging line suggests, replacing humans with machines is not an easy task. Most industrial robots have to be extensively programmed, and they will perform a job properly only if everything is positioned just so. Much of the production work done in Chinese factories requires dexterity, flexibility, and common sense. If a box comes down the line at an odd angle, for instance, a worker has to adjust his or her hand before affixing the label. A few hours later, the same worker might be tasked with affixing a new label to a different kind of box. And the following day he or she might be moved to another part of the line entirely.”
So training, not handouts. All of the more difficult/new computer work I do now was taught to me on the job. I took down notes, could recover if I made a mistake and so on. The US used to have on the job training. Unless a disability or hardship is involved, idling people is not a good idea.
Chesley Sullenberger says that younger pilots get much less experience actually piloting the plane due to autopilot, so are less able to deal with emergencies. I foresee this as a problem with driverless cars and trucks, or vehicles on autopilot as well. How can someone program for *everything? *
The people who’s jobs haven’t been replaced by robots ofcourse. I guess the other option would be to create an “income tax” on the robot’s productivity in the form of surcharges to the companies using the robots. Not sure how you’d track such a thing.
In any case it is just another form of income redistribution. Let’s have the government (i.e. tax payers) pay more people to not work rather than providing suplemental income while helping to retrain people (either in educational grants or incentives to businesses to train workers).
Never ceases to amaze me that my 9 year old understands you have to take from someone who works to pay for those that aren’t, and yet there are many adults who think money is generated from the money fairies.
This and all the other comments above in the same line I agree with - but I also think miss the point.
At some distant point in the future (or not so distant?), society has to deal with a very real problem, which is that for the maintenance of basically all aspects of human civilisation from transport to food production and everything in between - everything, I suppose, except actual relationships with each other and (I hope) with God…could very well be automated. Which does tend to imply that whole swathes of people who are employed now, at some point either wont be, or will not be replaced when the retire, because a robot can do the same job.
Quite simply, to assume that the same levels of employment as at present are likely or sustainable seems to be rather complacent. Sure new industries involved either with information or tangible goods will surely come along, but in either case 95% + of the work involved is going to be automated.
So assuming that we still have a capitalistic economy…this presents a problem. Income distribution on a scale that seems absurd today is at least one solution.
All the people here quite rightly suggesting it’s not a brilliant solution…I’ve yet to hear better ones.
The bottom line: No income, no buying. And the silly idea that we will get paid for nothing from nowhere is crazy. Or someone can impose a robot tax, which would slow things down. But it’s still a totally bad idea.