As more and more reports about automation making human jobs vanish continue, more and more serious players of the silicon valley are saying that the only recourse humanity may have is universal basic income (UBI).
Elon Musk has already addressed the question in an interview and he feels we simply won't have any choice."There is a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation…Yeah, I am not sure what else one would do. I think that is what would happen," Musk said in an interview with CNBC.
However, this Thursday, the Economic Security Project, a research alliance of technologists and activists such as Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes along with Sam Altman, president of the start-up accelerator Y Combinator, and more than 100 other organisers announced a $10 million fund to study UBI over the next two years.
"In 1970, 92% of American 30-year-olds earned more than their parents did at a similar age...In 2014, that number fell to 51%," Altman tweeted Thursday, citing a Wall Street Journal report on stagnating middle class wages.
Universal basic income is a form of social security in which all citizens or residents of a country regularly receive an unconditional sum of money, either from a government or some other public institution, in addition to any income received from elsewhere.
But some such as Jathan Sadowski, while writing for the Guardian are sceptical about the silicon valley's embracing of UBI. "Why do the wealthy and elite support seemingly radical social programs?" he asks. "Have they grown enlightened and concerned with the plight of everyone else? Is this designed to make exploitation more bearable, a bit of comfort to soften the crushing pressure of life? Or is it a stealthy way for them to backdoor their own politics and values, while also protecting their positions in society?"
While these are enlightening questions and UBI and automation may still take some time to disrupt your reality, interestingly the skills most sought after by industry according to LinkedIn, UpWork and Opportunity are to do with computer programming.
Here are the 10 most sought after skills for 2016-17 list (Pick up these skills to avoid becoming fossilised by robots):
1. Cloud and Distributed Computing
2. Statistical Analysis and Data Mining
3. Web Architecture and Development Framework
4. Middleware and Integration Software
5. User Interface Design
6. Network and Information Security
7. Mobile Development
8. Data Presentation
9. SEO/SEM Marketing
10. Storage Systems and Management
Here is the complete list:
• Cloud and distributed computing
• Statistical analysis and data mining
• Mobile development
• Storage systems and management
• User interface design
• Network and information security
• Middleware and integration software
• Web architecture and development framework
• Algorithm design
• Java development
• Machine learning
• Tableau software
• User experience design
• C++ programming
• MySQL programming
• Pardot marketing
• Social media management
• Project management professional (PMP)
• Swift development
• Chat support
• Android development
• Unity 3D game development
• Shopify development
• Video editing
• Facebook marketing
• API development
• Content writing
• .NET framework
• WordPress development
• Direct sales
• Sales management
• Business development
• Customer service
• Account management
• Sales operations