Poll: Americans split on paying workers replaced by robots

A new survey Monday said Americans are split on the issue of establishing a monetary program to pay human workers who are replaced in their jobs by artificial intelligence. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI

Feb. 26 (UPI) — Should employees be provided income if their job is taken over by artificial intelligence or robots? A new survey shows Americans are split on that question.

According to the Gallup poll, respondents were asked to support or oppose a hypothetical universal basic income program for robot-replaced workers.

Respondents were told such a program would pay a guaranteed minimum to workers replaced by a non-human successor.

Forty-eight percent said they support the idea — and 52 percent were opposed.

The survey data showed some partisan groups were more supportive of the idea than others. More than six in 10 Democrats support the idea, compared to roughly a quarter of Republicans. Support was also lower among Americans age 66 and older — just 38 percent.

Most supporters for the income program say they oppose funding it with taxpayer dollars — and instead believe companies that benefit most from the change should foot the bill.

High profile business leaders like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have advocated for exploring a universal basic income program.

A survey in October said 73 percent of Americans predicted that artificial intelligence will lead to more job losses than it creates.

Monday’s survey polled nearly 3,300 adults in the United States and had a margin of error of 2 points.


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