Billionaire and iconic entrepreneur Richard Branson says the extreme wealth that will be generated by the artificial intelligence industry should be partly redistributed as a universal basic income, or cash handouts.
"Basic income is going to be all the more important. If a lot more wealth is created by AI, the least that the country should be able to do is that a lot of that wealth that is created by AI goes back into making sure that everybody has a safety net," says Branson, speaking with Business Insider Nordic while in Helsinki for the Nordic Business Forum recently.
"Obviously AI is a challenge to the world in that there's a possibility that it will take a lot of jobs away. ... It's up to all of us to be entrepreneurially minded enough to create those new jobs."
It's not the first time the 67-year-old entrepreneur has talked about the potential benefit of universal basic income.
"A lot of exciting new innovations are going to be created, which will generate a lot of opportunities and a lot of wealth, but there is a real danger it could also reduce the amount of jobs," says Branson in a blog post he published in August. "This will make experimenting with ideas like basic income even more important in the years to come."
Other tech leaders who have raised the idea of cash handouts include SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Slack CEO and co-founder Stewart Butterfield and Y Combinator President Sam Altman.