03:53 GMT25 February 2020
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    Billionaire space entrepreneur Elon Musk has issued a stark, if bizarre warning: governments should prepare to pay people a universal base income, because robots are going to be taking so many human jobs in the future.

    The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) is considered by many to be a significant threat to the world as we know it. So, where does that leave us humans?

    Forget the industrial revolution, the biggest shake-up in labor could be the robotic revolution. Advanced AI has already made several factory jobs obsolete. 

    Looking forward into the not too distant furture, that trend could become more of a norm.

    According to the tech visionary Elon Musk, for many reading this article now, the future of your work could be… no work.

    In an interview with CNBC, Musk explained how world governments should consider introducing a basic income for all, so that even those who are not able to compete with robots for jobs, will be able to survive.

    "There is a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation," said Musk.

    "Yeah, I am not sure what else one would do. I think that is what would happen."

    Musk highlighted truck drivers in particular, as being at risk. It comes just weeks after he revealed that one of his companies, Tesla, has created cars that will be equipped with full autonomous capability — basically that they can self-drive, reacting to the environment and other road users independently.

    He claimed the artificial intelligence component of the Tesla cars will soon enable them to drive "all the way from LA to New York… without the need for a single touch" from a human.

    Musk tried to offset the impending mass job losses buy claiming that unemployment could come with the perk of more spare time.

    "People will have time to do other things, more complex things, more interesting things," said Musk. "Certainly more leisure time."

    Truck drivers may not be quite so optimistic.

    Despite Musk pushing artificial intelligence in transport, he has admitted to being so concerned by the possibilities of digital super intelligence, that he has nightmares about AI.

    Indeed, there has been a rising interest in the potential threat of artificial intelligence from many quarters.

    In a report by Oxford University and Deloitte last month called, The State of the State, researchers warmed that there will be several industries impacted by the world of automation. The research claims that over one million Brits could be out of work by 2030, with the strong possibility of being replaced by robots.

    And it's not just job security, but something that many of us take for granted as a life necessity — the Internet — that could also be at risk, according to the CEO of SpeaceX and Tesla.

    Musk recently took to twitter to claim that artificial intelligence could take down the Internet.

    The dark premonition, is not the first time that Musk has tried to warn the public. He's characterized super smart robots as possibly more dangerous than nuclear weapons, and also donated US$10 million to the Future of Life Institute, an organization whose mission is to make sure that AI helps humans rather than harm them.

    Rather than going against the tide of increasingly advanced artificial intelligence, Musk's solution is to try and better integrate the human with the artificial.

    "Ultimately, I think there has to be some improved symbiosis with digital super intelligence," the Tesla CEO opined.

    However, so far, the notion of a universal income for all citizens, even for those out of work, has had little traction globally. In June this year, Switzerland voted to overwhelmingly reject a proposal to guarantee a basic income for all.

    Switzerland, has one of the most liberal labor markets, and is the first country in the world to hold such a vote.

    It seems that in the meantime, most of us will need to continue clocking into work.


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    AI, autonomous vehicles, future, humanity, robots, automation, artificial intelligence, employment, jobs, technology, Tesla, Elon Musk, World
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