Experts weigh UBI to counter AI's job impact

Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are rapidly advancing and expected to disrupt many jobs done by humans today. Studies estimate that up to 50% of jobs are at risk of automation in the next 10-20 years.

With massive job losses expected, experts are debating proposals for universal basic income (UBI) - a guaranteed minimum income provided by the government to all citizens, regardless of employment status.

Proponents argue that UBI would provide economic stability and meet basic needs during a turbulent transition period. It would also offset reduced consumer demand due to unemployment.

UBI has backing from leaders in tech, business and economics, including Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg. Several countries have started basic income pilot studies.

However, critics argue that basic income programs could be prohibitively expensive, reduce the incentive to work, and would require tax hikes on corporations and high income groups.

There are also open questions around appropriate payout amounts and funding mechanisms for a permanent, nationwide UBI program. More research is needed to understand impacts.

Overall there is growing consideration of UBI as AI and automation transform the job landscape. But there are still many unknowns around viability and implementation.