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AI Pioneer Geoffrey Hinton Advises UK Government to Consider Universal Basic Income to Combat Job Losses

Geoffrey Hinton, a prominent figure in artificial intelligence (AI) often dubbed the “Godfather of AI,” recently advised the United Kingdom’s government at Downing Street to consider adopting a universal basic income (UBI) to mitigate the anticipated job losses due to AI advancements.

Until recently, Hinton was employed at Google, working on sophisticated AI features for neural networks.

These networks form the backbone of modern generative AI systems like Google’s Gemini and OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Hinton asserts that the AI revolution will disproportionately benefit the wealthy.

He warned that common workers and those in automatable jobs will likely lose their livelihoods, which he believes “is going to be bad for society,” as he explained in a recent BBC interview.

“I was consulted by people in Downing Street,” Hinton stated, “and I advised them that universal basic income was a good idea.”

Hinton is not alone in this belief. Sam Altman, co-founder of OpenAI and a former student of Hinton, is also a strong advocate for UBI.

Altman, who helped pioneer neural networks, is now known for his leadership at OpenAI and his vocal support for UBI.

Altman’s venture, Worldcoin, aims to provide UBI through a cryptocurrency token, given free to those who enroll and complete a retinal scan for identity verification.

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Both Hinton and Altman believe that UBI is crucial to counter the economic disruption caused by automation.

Additionally, they have expressed concerns about AI posing an existential threat to humanity.

Hinton left Google to openly discuss his apprehensions about AI’s future impact on society.

Altman, on the other hand, claims that his primary motivation for co-founding OpenAI with Elon Musk and others was to ensure that advanced AI systems are developed responsibly and beneficially for humanity.

In his BBC interview, Hinton emphasized the urgency of addressing these issues, predicting that within five to 20 years, there’s a significant chance that society will face the challenge of AI attempting to assert control.

“My guess is in between five and 20 years from now there’s a probability of half that we’ll have to confront the problem of AI trying to take over.”

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