ALTMAN PROPOSES ‘GPT SLICES’ FOR UBI 

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman envisions a future where advanced AI could fundamentally transform economic structures, potentially providing a sustainable foundation for universal basic income (UBI).

In a recent discussion on the All-In podcast, Altman proposed the concept of “compute” as a universal asset, suggesting that it could serve as an alternative to traditional monetary income for establishing a UBI system.

The conversation also covered the potential perils of AI, from existential risks to job displacement. Altman expressed concern over the power of advanced AI systems and advocated for the establishment of an international regulatory body focused on overseeing major AI projects to ensure global safety, while still allowing smaller startups the freedom to innovate without overly restrictive regulations.

Altman reassured listeners that OpenAI’s latest model, GPT-4, does not pose a significant threat to human safety.

In terms of economic support systems, Altman, who also leads Tools for Humanity—which distributes the Worldcoin cryptocurrency as part of an identity verification platform—criticized traditional government-led poverty assistance programs. He suggested that providing direct financial support would allow individuals to make their own choices and engage with the market more effectively.

“I’m not entirely convinced that giving people money will solve all problems, or make them happy, but it might address some issues and offer a better foundation for individuals to improve their own lives,” Altman explained.

Reflecting on his long-term support for UBI, Altman mentioned that his interest was sparked in 2016 when he recognized the potential societal impacts of AI. His subsequent research supported the promise of UBI.

Looking forward, Altman speculates about a shift from a monetary UBI to what he terms “universal basic compute,” where everyone might receive a portion of computational resources from AI systems like GPT-7. This resource could then be used directly, sold, or donated for purposes such as medical research, proposing a radical rethinking of how economic value and productivity might be distributed in the future.

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