This article was published on September 4, 2017

Robot workers could lead to universal basic income in Hawaii


Robot workers could lead to universal basic income in Hawaii Image by: Caracarafoto / Shutterstock
Rachel Kaser
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Rachel Kaser

Internet Culture Writer

Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback riding. Check her Twitter for curmudgeonly criticisms.

Politicians in Hawaii are debating using a universal basic income to offset the potential robot job-pocalypse. It’s a trend other states might consider joining as AI is poised to take on a larger role in the work force.

The new bill — which was passed earlier this year and basically opened a conversation with the state’s departments of labor and business — proposed a guaranteed income for a person to live on, regardless of their employment status. Considering many retail jobs are likely to be replaced with automated workers sooner rather than later, the bill’s supporters think this could be a saving grace for Hawaii’s largely tourist-based labor force.

State Representative Chris Lee, who introduced the legislation, told CBS that he wants “to be sure that everybody will benefit from the technological revolution that we’re seeing to make sure no one’s left behind.”

It’s a nice idea, but the money would have to come from somewhere, and no one so far has proposed a source of funding.

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