Gerald Huff Fund For Humanity Calls for Development of Universal Basic Income Programs to Mitigate AI’s Potential to Eliminate Jobs

Gerald Huff Fund for Humanity
Gerald Huff Fund for Humanity

Businesswire: April 18, 2023

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Gerald Huff Fund for Humanity (the “Fund”), a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the understanding, acceptance, and implementation of Universal Basic Income (UBI) programs to benefit all Americans, called for the development of UBI across the United States to help address the large potential negative impact of artificial intelligence (AI) systems on employment and the labor market. This call was prompted by the “Open Letter to Pause Giant AI Experiments” published on March 22, 2023.

Significant innovations, including AI, can lead to disruptions in various aspects of society. Responsible AI development that adheres to ethical standards and maintains transparency must be accompanied by a recognition of the economic security challenges that arise from AI advancements. That recognition should result in the creation of comprehensive strategies for managing the impact of AI and automation on the job market at all levels of sophistication, targeting a broad range of industries. A viable future can only be created by ensuring that the benefits of increased productivity are widely shared instead of being captured solely by the ultra-wealthy. UBI serves as an AI dividend since it draws its value from the collective contribution of society to the entire Internet. The data used to train large AI systems was created collectively using the contributions of all citizens and should therefore benefit everyone.

Dr. Gary Marcus, a leading voice in Artificial Intelligence and signer of the open letter, stated: “I have long thought that UBI is an inevitable part of our future. AI has been slower in replacing our jobs that some people may have expected, but we are undoubtedly heading toward a future world in which there are fewer jobs for humans. If we are to continue living in a humane world, we need to embrace UBI as part of that world, and the sooner we can learn how to make it work, the better.”

Dr. Gisèle Huff, president of the Fund, stated: “In response to the open letter calling for a pause in AI development, we appreciate the concerns raised and would like to emphasize the importance of addressing the social and economic implications of AI advancements, particularly as they relate to the replacement of workers engaged in content creation. While we agree that AI systems pose potential risks, we believe that focusing on UBI and shared prosperity can help mitigate these risks and promote a more equitable society.” Huff added, “We propose using any pause not only to develop safety protocols but also to implement UBI and mitigate the transitional effects of job loss. This way, we can ensure that the benefits of AI technology are distributed fairly, regardless of whether one supports the AI development pause or not.”

Fund Board member Scott Santens, author of “Let There Be Money,” stated: “While we acknowledge the concerns raised in the open letter, we believe that focusing on UBI, responsible AI development, and shared prosperity is a vital approach to harness the potential of AI for the betterment of society. We must work together to ensure a future where AI advancements contribute to a more equitable and thriving world for all.”

About The Gerald Huff Fund for Humanity:

The Gerald Huff Fund for Humanity is a Section 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was created in 2019 to promulgate the vision of the late Gerald Huff, an ardent proponent of Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a transitional solution to the existential threat of technological unemployment. Through various programs and initiatives, the Fund supports UBI by collaborating with education and advocacy programs and individuals to further its understanding, acceptance, and implementation to benefit all Americans. Among the Fund’s current initiatives is Basic Income Today, an online information and community site dedicated to providing news and information and furthering the discussion and debate about UBI. On Twitter @FundforHumanity.

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