North American billionaire Ray Dalio believes that, because of AI, the current wealth gap in America is only going to widen and a state of emergency should be called.
He feels that the wealth gap is only going to worsen, caused by the replacement of human jobs with AI programs and robots, and while stopping short of calling for a Universal Basic Income, he feels that the political decision-makers need to address the growing inequity.
“My view is that algorithmic/automated decision making is a two edged sword that is improving total productivity but is also eliminating jobs, leading to big wealth and opportunity gaps and populism, and creating a national emergency” — Ray Dalio
Paying people a Universal Basic Income—or UBI—has been endorsed by many, including Sir Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk.
But Dalio believes the UBI is the wrong answer.
“I don’t believe that transferring money to people who are unproductive is good for the people or the economy, unless there are no other good alternatives. I believe that it’s both far better and it’s possible to find ways for making most of these people productive” — Ray Dalio
Richard Socher, Salesforce’s chief scientist, thinks that worriers like Dalio and Musk are wrong. He argues that we are technically still a long way off of AI being able to focus on more than one task at a time. So people, he argues, are still going to be needed for a long time yet.
The views are polar opposites, and the truth is somewhere out there.
Back to the UBI: My own view of the UBI is that it’s a good idea, but one that will be abused by the marketplace. Just as with first home buyers grants that saw house prices rise by the amount of the grant, leaving first home buyers still unable to afford to buy their own home, so too with UBI. Real prices will rise by the amount of the income and the poor will be no better off.
Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/06/bridgewaters-dalio-posts-on-ai-wealth-gap-capitalism-on-facebook.html and https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/07/fears-and-uncertainty-about-a-i-are-unfounded-says-salesforce-scientist.html