Artificial intelligence may soon generate so much wealth that every American adult could receive $13,500 per month from the windfall – and it could be possible within just ten years. This is according to Sam Altman, the co-founder of OpenAI, a San Francisco-based aritificial intelligence nonprofit.
“My work at OpenAI reminds me every day about the magnitude of the socioeconomic change that is coming sooner than most people believe,” Altman said on Tuesday. “Software that can think and learn will do more and more of the work that people now do.”
Altman calls this the “AI Revolution,” comparing it to the agricultural and industrial revolutions ofteh past. He added the technological progress made in the next one hundred years could be much greater than all the progress humanity has made since discovering fire and the wheel.
Altman warns that this golden future depends on public policy. Many would be worse off if the government doesn’t respond accordingly. It’s only when the government effectively collects and redistributes the wealth generated by AI that the improved productivity of AI creates a less divisive future where everyone is on equal footing.
Artificial intelligence means that, within five years, computers will be reading documents and giving medical advice. In ten years computers will handle assembly work and become companions to humans. In the decades after that, according to Altman, AI could do “almost everything, including making new scientific discoveries that will expand our concept of ‘everything’.”
Altman proposed the government create an American Equity Fund where large companies are taxed 2.5% of their company value in the form of shares and 2.5% of the value of all their land in dollars. The plan would also tax all private companies earning over a billion dollars in the form of cash.
Every American over 18 years of age would receive payments in dollars and shares. People are free to do anything they want with the money.
Giving everyone some ownership of the country would create a better society for all. Everyone would effectively hold “shares” in America and would naturally want that share value to increase. As everyone earns more when the country does well, everyone has an incentive to create a country that continues to do well.
Under this system, the 250 million adults living in America would get $13,500 per year. Altman calculated this number by estimating that the $50 trillion value of US companies and the $30 trillion of privately-held land in the country would “roughly double” over the next ten years.
Elon Musk once hinted at a similar future in 2016, telling CNBC that “There is a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation.” Musk was another co-founder of OpenAI but left the board as Tesla was becoming an AI company as it moved towards self-driving cars.