Mark Cuban warned against the potential dangers that artificial intelligence (AI) poses to the work force, asserting during a one-to-one question session at OZY Fest on Sunday that:
There’s going to be a lot of unemployed people replaced with technology and if we don’t start dealing with that now, we’re going to have some real problems.
Cuban added that he hasn’t seen an equal transformation to the workforce in recent memory:
We’re going through a transitional period where we’ll see more disruption driven by artificial intelligence than we’ve seen in the last 30 years.
It is the latest in a series of warnings that the sports tycoon has issued about the 21st Century’s AI revolution. In February Cuban Tweeted that “Automation is going to cause unemployment and we need to prepare for it” — but, unlike others, he disagrees that universal basic income (UBI) is a solution to this, Tweeting that it is “one of the worst possible responses” to the potential crisis.
Solutions to Automation?
Cuban joins other industry leaders in warning against AI. Bill Gates told the BBC that “the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern.”
Stephen Hawking has also weighed in on the debate, apocalyptically telling the Guardian that “the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining.”
However, while leading figures in the technology industry agree that AI will he highly disruptive, they vary on their solutions to the problem. In contrast to Cuban — who Tweeted that we should optimize existing support networks by making them “more efficient so more money can be distributed with far less overhead” — Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft, believes that taxing robots is a temporary solution. Gates believes UBI is a good long-term plan, although society is not ready for it yet.
Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook, is situated at the pro-UBI end of the spectrum, telling Harvard graduates that “We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure that everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.”