Replacing Myself

This category will contain blog posts about the ways in which I am replacing myself, and humanity is replacing itself.

To some people, the major threat of Artificial Intelligence is the increasing number of jobs that automation can accomplish which displaces human workers. It is both a rational product of capitalism and a problem that cannot be solved by free markets. It is in the best interest of the corporation to replace workers with software and robotics if those systems come at a lower cost. However, all workers need to be employed in order to earn money to live. Therefore, the better and cheaper the automation, the more people will fall into poverty and starvation.

There is one simple solution that most of the world is too scared to attempt: the guaranteed minimum income, also known as the negative income tax or universal basic income. Everyone in society (or those who can show that their income is below a certain threshold), is given a monthly stipend from the government. I believe that opposition and fear of this proposal is based on an immediate reaction, and people don’t listen to the rational economic arguments that underpin and justify the balance sheet, the evidence gathered from experiments around the world showing that it can work, and those acclaimed economists (including staunch free-market capitalists like Milton Friedman) who argue for it.

Regardless of how we solve the seemingly inevitable economic problem of widespread technological unemployment, I look forward to a society in which all of the floors are vacuumed by Roombas, all banking is done electronically, all transportation is self-driving. Because in that world, we are safer, more efficient and have a lot more free time for creating art and enjoying life.

And I know I won’t live forever. I will be obsolete too. Therefore, I will also use this category to discuss my son as a replacement for myself.