Cash handouts ‘will be necessary’ if robots take humans' jobs


Billionaire tech titan Elon Musk has been tweeting quite a lot of late — about everything from his philosophical mentors (Douglas Adams and Isaac Asimov) to his political leanings (he's a socialist).

But nearly lost in a flurry of tweets, Musk now says that universal basic income (UBI) — essentially, free cash handouts — "will be necessary over time if AI [artificial intelligence] takes over most human jobs."

That's what Musk tweeted Friday in response to a question from a Twitter user who asked him if he supported UBI.

Universal basic income is a cash handout distributed to the people of a state or region irrespective of employment status. In November 2016, Musk himself told CNBC automation would lead to the need for cash handouts.

"There is a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation," Musk told CNBC. "Yeah, I am not sure what else one would do. I think that is what would happen."

And Musk isn't the only Silicon Valley titan to surface the idea.

Billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has indicated his support for universal basic income as a way to inspire more entrepreneurial creativity.

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