Billionaire hedge fund founder Ray Dalio says artificial intelligence and automation are improving productivity but also causing such a dramatic wealth gap that “a national emergency should be declared."
The co-chief investment officer and co-chairman of Bridgewater Associates shared his thoughts in a Facebook post on Thursday.
Dalio says he was responding to a question about whether machine intelligence would put enough people out of work that the government will have to pay people to live with a cash handout, a concept known as universal basic income.
“My view is that algorithmic/automated decision making is a two edged sword that is improving total productivity but is also eliminating jobs, leading to big wealth and opportunity gaps and populism, and creating a national emergency.
"Largely as a result of it, capitalism is not working for the majority of Americans and is in jeopardy," he writes. "Yet no one is seriously examining what to do about it.”
Indeed, income inequality is real. The global charity Oxfam found that 82 percent of the growth in global wealth in the previous year went to the top 1 percent of individuals ranked by riches, according to a report published in January. Meanwhile, the bottom 50 percent had no increase in their wealth, the report says.