Automation and the spread of AI-based technologies have raised significant concerns over the future of the labor market or humanity as a species. Whether AI would be friendly or hostile to humans is uncertain; however, this technology already affects society, especially in economic and social spheres. One of the more common solutions to AI-related unemployment is an introduction of the Universal Basic Income (UBI) in some form or shape. However, the possible implications of the UBI and even its feasibility are a subject of debate among analysts, scholars, and writers.
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Ford, Martin. Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. Basic Books, 2015.
AI in its modern state is generally inferior to humans; however, it still can make them redundant by being superior in specific areas. A book by Martin Ford provides an insight into the current situation with automation and AI development. In addition, Ford predicts various scenarios for humanity in connection to the advancements in AI development. Finally, Ford draws a firm conclusion: not only UBI’s introduction is feasible, but it is the most viable solution to unemployment in the age of the jobless future.
Kearney, Melissa S., and Magne Mogstad. “Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a Policy Response to Current Challenges.” Report, Aspen Institute, 2019, pp. 1–19.
Research by Kearney and Mogstad analyzes the possible UBI introduction in the USA from a purely economic perspective. A study of various UBI proposals made in America allows understanding of what pitfalls await those who would try to introduce UBI in the USA. In addition, the authors provided several concerns regarding the UBI’s feasibility and offered measures, which would help the most vulnerable groups of American nation better.
Pulkka, Ville-Veikko. “A Free Lunch with Robots – Can a Basic Income Stabilise the Digital Economy?” Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research vol. 23, no. 3, 2017, pp. 295–311.
Another take on the UBI implementation comes from Finland, where authorities introduced it in a limited scope as an experiment. The author admits that the European workforce will face difficulties in readjusting to the automatized economy. However, while being possibly beneficial for the unprotected members of society, the UBI introduction still demands careful deliberation. Even the most conservative approach would require a significant increase in taxation on the national level, which might render UBI impossible.
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