As we approach the age of self-driving cars, it’s only a matter of time before most everything is automated. In fact, it wouldn’t be too far fetched to say that in the next hundred years, we will have robots that are capable of cooking, doing laundry, manufacturing goods, and even farming.
Of course, this type of technological advancement would put millions of people out of a job. But according to Sam Altman, the 32-year-old president of startup accelerator Y Combinator, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
“Let’s imagine we get to a world where AI gets so good that robots can mine raw materials out of the ground, refine them, and build them into a house,” Altman told Business Insider, adding that these theoretical robots would be solar-powered. “You can imagine a world where you own a small piece of land, you can say, ‘Hey, robot. I would like a house here,’ and you come back like a month later and there’s a fully constructed house built for you for free.”
Altman is also experimenting with the idea of universal basic income, a system in which everyone receives a minimum allowance. He’s currently running a trial in Oakland, California that involves about 100 people receiving anywhere between $1,000-$2,000 per month. The goal is to see whether basic income helps people lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.
“I don’t know if [basic income] is the answer or not to this massive technological revolution we’re in the middle of, but it is something I’d like to study,” Altman stated.
Altman’s idyllic vision for the future is similar to that of his ambitious colleague, Elon Musk. But for all the comparisons that are made, Altman insists that Musk is “in a class by himself.”
This type of forward thinking requires a strategic plan that is set in the far-off future. In fact, even if this type of utopian future were possible, it’s likely to occur long after Altman has left this earth.