Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

02.13.17 | 10:27 am

Elon Musk says automation will make a universal basic income necessary soon

Elon Musk was interviewed this morning as part of the World Government Summit taking place this week in Dubai. The Tesla and SpaceX founder explained why universal basic income will soon be a political necessity as a result of automation. He said:

"There will be fewer and fewer jobs that a robot cannot do better. I want to be clear. These are not things I wish will happen; these are things I think probably will happen. And if my assessment is correct and they probably will happen, than we have to think about what are we going to do about it? I think some kind of universal basic income is going to be necessary. The output of goods and services will be extremely high. With automation there will come abundance. Almost everything will get very cheap. I think we'll end up doing universal basic income. It's going to be necessary. The much harder challenge is, how are people going to have meaning? A lot of people derive their meaning from their employment. So if there's no need for your labor, what's your meaning? Do you feel useless? That's a much harder problem to deal with."

–Jared Lindzon