One of the most important rapidly advancing trends of our time is that of Universal Basic Income (UBI).
The utopian idea behind Universal Basic Income is intoxicating: every human gets a “free” living wage paid to them by the state. The rational behind the idea is similarly palatable; as Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes more and more advanced, capital will flow to an increasingly small number of capital (read robot) owners, while the majority of mere human workers will themselves virtually unemployable as their robo-colleagues become exponentially smarter and cheaper with every passing day. Universal Basic Income solves the pending global unemployment crisis and gives pretty much everyone the rest of their lives off, free to pressure the arts or whatever other self-actualising activities they choose (unless of course, they chose to try to become part of the ever-diminishing, ever more rich and powerful capital class that funds the whole set up).
Sounds great! Sign me up for the free money! What could possibly go wrong?
Well, um, I hate to be a downer, but I seem to recall Ayn Rand and George Orwell had a few ideas that might be worth looking right about now…
Humans of Earth, it would be wise to remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch.