UBI: We all will be there
Ray Kurzweil is internationally renowned for his predictions: more than 140 have come true to date. For instance, mobile computers would have wireless connection to the Internet or the majority of reading would be on displays. One of his recent predictions is the following: in the earlier 2030s the people in the developed countries would all be on universal basic income (UBI). They would not have to work and would live quite a comfortable life. Till the end of 2030s the people in less developed countries would also be a UBI and would not have to look for a job. Moreover, our clothing and food would be produced by 3D printers and other devices (protein synthesis machines).
Kurzweil encourages us to embrace the future. In his opinion it is inevitable anyway. The fact that we do not normally see the bright future is due to our liner projection of the present to the future whereas we ought to think exponentially and forecast accordingly: e.g. if the first phase of the project has taken 7 years to complete and what has been achieved is 1% of the final target, in Kurzweil’s view the project is almost complete (it takes only 7 doubling to reach 100% and if each doubling occurs in one year it is altogether 7 years). In the view of overwhelming majority of people it would take 700 years to complete the project.
In all fairness Kurzweil does acknowledge the need for setting a purpose or finding a meaning of existence for people divested from the necessity of working for a living. He suggest reading books, for instance. Many might doubt whether reading books could fill in the void of empty and pointless existence. Some even worry that once basic necessities are taking care of people may start indulging in plotting spiteful intrigues, discriminating against others, making other people’s lives miserable.
The relationship between men and machines has been the subject of research of many remarkable authors, e.g. Nikolai Berdyaev’s Man and the Machine, Lewis Mumford’s The Myth of the Machine or Martin Ford’s Rise of the Robots.
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