The case against Universal Basic Income

Universal Basic Income (UBI) suggests that all adults should receive the same minimum, guaranteed, income from the State irrespective of their other incomes. It is being put forward as the “solution” to the obliteration of jobs due to robots, artificial intelligence and machine learning. In a future, when work will be intermittent or absent, UBI... Continue Reading →

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5 things AI can do better than humans

Artificial Intelligence is constantly pushing the boundaries of what machines are capable of. But could machines ever become better than us? The answer is of course ‘yes’, at least in many things where our intellect used to be the unchallenged champion of creativity and intelligence. Here are 5 tough intellectual areas where AI is already... Continue Reading →

The automation paradox

Ever since textile workers in 19th century Britain attacked the machines that eliminated their jobs technological disruption is met by society with suspicion and ambivalence. As the era of machine intelligence and human-like robots dawns economists scramble to determine the benefits and costs of the “second machine age”. Steam delivered the automation of manual labour;... Continue Reading →

How smart can a smart machine become?

To measure the intelligence of intelligent machines has been an obsession of computer scientists since the dawn of the computer era. The pioneering genius of Alan Turing bequeathed a test based on perception. His famous “imitation game” sets up a human judge in conversation against some “thing” (or some “one”) hidden behind a wall. If... Continue Reading →

The human use of human beings

Such was the title of a book by Norbert Wiener, the father of cybernetics. In his book, published in 1950, Wiener pondered on the social questions and consequences of automation, at a time when the computer age was still an idea in very few people’s heads. Being an optimist he considered the mechanisation of work... Continue Reading →

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