Geoffrey Hinton concerned about AI taking jobs, advises universal basic income

Renowned AI researcher Geoffrey Hinton, often referred to as the AI godfather for his groundbreaking work in neural networks, has expressed concerns about the potential impact of AI on the job market. In an interview with the BBC, Hinton stated that he is "very worried about AI taking lots of mundane jobs" and suggested that a universal basic income (UBI) could be a possible solution to mitigate the economic impact of AI advancements.

UBI is a recurring cash payment made to all adults in a certain population, regardless of their wealth or employment status, with no restrictions on how the money is spent. This concept has gained traction among AI researchers, futurists, and industry leaders as a way to address the potential job displacement caused by AI technologies.

Countries like South Africa, Kenya, and India have already explored the idea of implementing UBI as a means to combat poverty, while some cities and states in the United States have experimented with guaranteed basic incomes for specific groups of people.

Hinton believes that AI has the potential to increase productivity and generate more wealth, but without government intervention, it could exacerbate income inequality and harm those who lose their jobs to automation. He warns that if left unchecked, AI could become an "extinction-level threat" for humans.

In contrast, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, who is actively working on developing artificial general intelligence, has conducted his own experiment on UBI and has proposed the idea of a "universal basic compute" where individuals receive access to a future large language model like GPT-7 instead of cash payments.

Overall, the debate around AI, job displacement, and UBI continues to evolve, with experts like Hinton and Altman advocating for a more cautious approach to AI development and the consideration of redistributive measures to address the potential societal impacts of advanced technologies.


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