Edited to add a link to Tom Steinberg‘s essay A Campaigning Organisation for Technologists Who Worry About a Coming Wave of Technology-Driven Unemployment and Insecurity. While not dedicated specifically to universal basic income it does ask whether there should be a community of interest for technologists who are concerned about these issues.

Count me in.


I first came across the idea of universal basic income (UBI) a few years ago when I stumbled across the story Manna by Marshall Brain. It depicts two versions of a future which has been heavily impacted by the influence of robots and AI. The more utopian side of the story is dependent on the concept of UBI.

Since then, as a part of what I’d write to the Listserv, I’ve done a little bit of research on the topic and found a few interesting references including:

Despite having read these articles, and being a fan of the principles behind the proposals, I still haven’t heard heard any concrete arguments as to why UBI wouldn’t lead to instant price inflation or wage deflation (or both) – apart from “because people will be nice”.

A lot of smart people think that UBI is feasible – some think it’s either inevitable or at least the best way to cope with the ever increasing future shock due to the pace of technological change.

This is why I’d like to get together with a group of interested and knowledgeable people so we discuss it in depth. I’m currently chatting to the good folks at Newspeak House about possibly using an instance of Soma Salon to cover the topic.

If this sounds like something you might be interested in taking part in please let me know.