SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Silicon Valley titan Elon Musk argues that nations would have to provide a guaranteed income to their citizens as more and more jobs become replaced by emerging technologies.
In an interview with CNBC, the Tesla CEO, SpaceX CEO and Solar City chairman said recently, “There is a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation.”
When Musk was asked what people would do with their time, he said, “People will have time to do other things, more complex things, more interesting things.” Musk said that there would also be more leisure time.
The idea of a universal basic income has become a topic of conversation amid the rise of technologies such as robotics and self-driving vehicles.
Last month, a self-driving truck completed a beer delivery in Colorado, which could eventually lead to the delivery drivers becoming obsolete. Uber is also picking up passengers in self-driving vehicles in Pittsburgh, possibly impacting its large fleet of drivers.
Musk’s own Tesla Motors is also working on self-driving vehicles, recently announcing that it is already equipping vehicles with the hardware needed to drive completely on their own in the event regulations and technology make it feasible.
Under a universal basic income system, all individuals would receive a regular check from the government to cover basic needs.
Voters in Switzerland recently rejected a referendum that would have provided a guaranteed income of 2,500 Swiss francs a month, or $2,578, to its 8 million residents.