The Shortcomings of Universal Basic Income for Humanity

Picture of Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy

Creator and Co-founder

The future is here, whether we’re ready or not.

AI and automation aren’t just buzzwords anymore—they’re transforming everything from customer service to manufacturing.

Imagine a world where mundane tasks are handled by machines, giving us more time for creativity and innovation.

Sounds like science fiction? It’s happening right now.

As we look ahead, it’s clear that these technologies will continue to evolve at breakneck speed. From self-driving cars making commutes less stressful to virtual assistants streamlining our day-to-day activities—this isn’t just about convenience; it’s about revolutionizing how we live and work.

The Rising Tide of AI and Automation

The world is changing rapidly, and one of the biggest drivers of this change is the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation. As these technologies continue to advance, they’re transforming how we work, live, and interact with the world around us.

But what does this mean for the future of work? How will AI and automation impact the global workforce and economy?

Let’s take a closer look.

The Predicted Future of Work

According to a McKinsey Global Institute report, by 2030, up to 375 million workers worldwide may need to switch occupational categories due to automation. This means that many jobs as we know them today could disappear, while new ones emerge.

While some jobs may be lost, others will be created. The key is to understand which industries and skills are most likely to be impacted and to start preparing for the future now.

Universal Basic Income: A Potential Solution

One potential solution to the job losses caused by automation is the concept of a universal basic income (UBI). This idea has gained traction in recent years, with proponents like Andrew Yang proposing a “freedom dividend” of $1,000 per month for every American adult.

The idea behind UBI is that it could provide a safety net for those who lose their jobs due to automation, allowing them to retrain and find new opportunities. However, the concept is not without its critics, who argue that it could be expensive and discourage people from working.

According to a survey of over 2,700 AI researchers, nearly all human labor could be replaced by AI, automation, and robotics in the future.

The Human Touch in an Automated World

While AI and automation are transforming many industries, there are still some jobs and sectors where human skills remain irreplaceable. These are the jobs that require empathy, creativity, and dexterity – skills that machines simply can’t replicate.

Empathy and Creativity: AI’s Limitations

One of the key limitations of AI is its inability to truly understand and empathize with human emotions. While machines can be programmed to recognize facial expressions and respond accordingly, they lack the nuance and context that humans bring to interactions.

Similarly, while AI can be used to generate creative works like music and art, it still relies on human input and guidance. True creativity requires a spark of inspiration and a deep understanding of the human experience – something that machines simply can’t replicate.

As Dr. Kai-Fu Lee suggests, jobs that require a human touch like massage therapy and caretaking are likely to remain in demand even as automation increases. These are the jobs that require empathy, compassion, and a deep understanding of human needs and desires.

As AI continues to advance, it’s important to consider the ethical implications of these technologies. From data privacy concerns to the potential for AI to perpetuate biases, many challenges need to be addressed.

The Role of Education in an AI-Driven Future

One of the key ways to prepare for an AI-driven future is through education. As the nature of work changes, so too must the way we educate and train the next generation of workers.

This means placing a greater emphasis on skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity – skills that are less likely to be automated. It also means providing opportunities for lifelong learning and retraining, so that workers can adapt to changing job markets.

Protecting Privacy in the Age of Big Data

You’re not alone if you’re worried about how AI handles your information. With machines rapidly improving their ability to process and analyze huge chunks of data, there’s always the possibility that our personal details might fall into the wrong hands or be exploited.

To address this, we need strong data protection laws and regulations as well as greater transparency around how data is collected and used. Individuals should have control over their own data, and companies should be held accountable for any breaches or misuse.

Books like “2084” by John Lennox explore the dangers of transhumanism and the potential for AI to be used in ways that harm humanity.

In “AI 2041,” Dr. Kai-Fu Lee discusses the impact of AI on jobs and proposes attaching training to UBI as a potential solution.

The Economic Implications of Widespread Automation

The rise of AI and automation is not just a technological shift – it’s also an economic one. As machines take over more tasks, there are concerns about job losses and the impact on workers.

Automation’s Impact on Manufacturing Jobs

One of the sectors that has been hit hardest by automation is manufacturing. According to a report from the Brookings Institution, automation destroyed 4 million manufacturing jobs between 1987 and 2016.

This trend is likely to continue as machines become more sophisticated and able to take on more complex tasks. While some new jobs may be created in the process, it’s unclear whether they will be enough to offset the losses.

The Potential for Economic Growth Through AI

Despite the challenges, there is also potential for AI and automation to drive economic growth. By optimizing efficiency in sectors like supply chains, healthcare, and customer service, these technologies could help to boost productivity and create new opportunities.

However, it’s important to ensure that the benefits of this growth are distributed equitably. Without proper policies in place, there’s a risk that the gains could be concentrated among a small group of people, while others are left behind.

Preparing for a Post-Labor Economy

As automation continues to transform the economy, some experts are beginning to envision a post-labor world – one where work as we know it today is no longer the central organizing principle of society.

In a post-labor economy, the traditional notion of a job as the primary source of income and identity may no longer hold true. Instead, we may need to rethink what we value as a society and how we define success and fulfillment.

This could mean placing a greater emphasis on leisure time, personal growth, and community involvement. It could also mean finding new ways to distribute wealth and resources, such as through a universal basic income or other forms of social support.

In his book “Utopia for Realists,” Rutger Bregman explores the idea of a post-labor economy and the need for meaningful work in a world where traditional jobs are increasingly automated. He argues that we need to rethink our relationship to work and find new ways to create value and purpose in our lives.

The rise of AI and automation presents both challenges and opportunities for the future of work. While there are certainly risks and uncertainties ahead, there is also the potential for these technologies to create new possibilities and drive positive change. The key is to approach these changes with a spirit of creativity, compassion, and a commitment to building a future that works for everyone.


We’ve explored how the future of AI and automation is shaping up — and it’s nothing short of groundbreaking.

This isn’t Hollywood’s dystopian nightmare; this is real progress helping us lead better lives every day. Whether it’s smarter fraud detection systems or personal assistants that remember your preferences, AI makes things easier for everyone involved.

I’ve seen firsthand the power of these technologies in action. And as they keep advancing, so do our growth opportunities — both personally and professionally.

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