Will Artificial Intelligence Prove the Case for a Universal Standard Income?

Increasingly over the last 2 decades or so, we have been witness to the mechanisation of many traditional heavy industries. There are few things that have been as detrimental to low-skilled workers as the rise of robots and other artificial intelligence in the workforce. There have been thousands of workers in the UK replaced by these machines. Examples of this include the automisation of assembly lines within the automotive industry, the rise of self-service checkouts in our supermarkets and everyone’s favorite, automated call centres. Over the long term, this has the potential to change the way our economy operates beyond recognition.

As the likes of AI and automated workers replaces human workers, there will be challenges that ordinary members of the workforce will have to face up to and overcome if they wish to remain employable. There are a number of steps that those who are low skilled can take to ensure employability. Ironically, thanks to technology, institutions such as The Open University allow people to gain an education in a flexible way that suits them.

Another dimension of this potential change to the global economy is that more people than ever before are going to start demanding some sort of universal standard income from governments around the world. However, there are many different issues with this way of thinking. Here are several things to think about when it comes to artificial intelligence and a universal standard income.

Artificial Intelligence

There are many benefits to artificial intelligence in the economy as a whole. Over the long term, artificial intelligence can add a lot of productivity to the entire economy as whole. However, there are lots of things to keep in mind when it comes to the other types of productivity issues. When there is a lot of machine labor in an area, this can take away from human labor. This can then hurt the overall productivity and earnings of workers in an area. Anyone who wants to see all parts of the economy benefit may see that artificial intelligence has some good and bad things about it.

Universal Standard Income

The entire of a universal standard income is an idea that has been thrown around for several years. The problem with this notion is the simple fact that someone must pay for it. The government does not produce any revenue by itself; all it does is take from those who produce with taxes. It sounds good in theory to have a guaranteed income from the government. However, this just means that some people will be paying more in to the system in order for this to happen.

Over the long term, there are a lot of issues with this way of thinking. Always be sure to keep in mind that some people must pay in to the system for this to be possible. Many people in politics will try to spin this way of thinking in order to get elected. However, it is those who have the most income who will be paying a lot of money in to the system in order for others to have an income.

We are at the dawning of an age that will change the world economy beyond recognition. We have already seen the beginnings, with the aforementioned advancements in assembly line technology, and call centres. The next big things that we will being to see in our daily lives will relate to automation in agriculture, further steps forward in the potential of 3D Printing and AI being further adopted in the automotive industry.

It is important to remember, however, that we are still decades away from the sort of this level of sophistication, and for the time being business owners cannot best a human workforce. Having machines that can operate with even a fraction of intelligence of a human still only exists within the realm of science fiction. As long as employers have the appropriate resources to keep their employees in good health, they can enjoy using human labour while they still can.

Many business owners are jumping at the chance to adopt technology within their companies in an effort autonomise and replace human workers. As there are many running costs associated with making a work space that adheres to legal requirements, business owners are attracted to technological solution to this problem. However, we are still a good few years from human workers being replaced entirely.

*Photo Credits:  slaai.lk

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