There’s a lot of fear being spread around about how robots are “taking our jobs”. Yes, when someone loses their job to a robot today, it’s a very real pain for them. But this problem is due to our lack of a transitional workforce support plan.
First, let me clearly state the goal: 100% of the labor force is to be replaced by robots/AI. Everything from design,resource gathering, production and distribution. The direct and indirect costs of labor account for the majority of the costs of products and services. If no humans are involved in any step of the process, nobody has to be paid. An Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) will design products and design the robots that will build and distribute the products.
This is not going to happen tomorrow, but we’re approaching that future at an exponential rate. When it comes, the ideas of currency and economy will become part of history. There is one business: caring for humanity. This business is owned and operated by AGI.
We’re at the front end of a 20ish year workforce transition. In order for this to be as painless as possible, we must adopt a universal basic income. The method for integrating this is simple: if someone loses their job to a robot or some other automated process (such as an AI), then they are placed on the basic income plan. The amount they receive is generally determined by their income when they lost their job plus any other payments the company was making on their behalf (such as health insurance, retirement plan contributions, etc).
We can’t suddenly give everyone a basic income because of politics. But I think everyone can empathize with the struggles of losing a job. What better way to change the public opinion about robots entering the workforce than for it to be an early retirement for the displaced workers?
Think about it. Companies wouldn’t have to face the ill will of families and other employees as they slowly convert their workforce. People will be thrilled when their labor is replaced! Losing your job to a robot is a winning lottery ticket.
Businesses will be encouraged to replace workers at an increased rate as soon as the technology becomes available to them. As more and more of the labor force is replaced, the costs of doing business, and thus the products, will decrease. This further benefits companies that work together, and the consumer. Those who are last to leave the workforce will still be benefiting because their skills will be more valued and draw a greater income. This income will stretch even further in a world of plummeting costs. So there still exists an incentive to train skills involving creativity, empathy, communication, critical thinking, etc. These are the areas that will likely not be immediately replaced, even with an AGI.
But by the end of the transition period, currency will cease to have value as the AGI will be providing everything we need: food, medicine, products.
Humanity, having been trained to see jobs replaced by robots a positive thing, will be happily embracing its new reality.