Because this speech was meant to be heard, I've recorded myself reading it aloud so that an audio version is available on SoundCloud. And I've also posted the slide presentation I created for this speech as well to SlideShare.
With every year that passes, technology is capable of doing more, and at an exponential rate. So let me ask you this. Let’s pretend that tomorrow everyone gets a button-triggered device that would end the world when pressed. How long do you think our world would survive?
Is the answer then to not invent such god-like to us technologies? I don’t think so. Such a technology would really be just another bone of sorts. Our challenge is that as technology advances, we need to advance along with it. We need to become humans who would not press that button.
So how do we do that? Well consider two societies. One society starts everyone at the bottom of Maslow’s pyramid and says, “Good luck, asshole. Every man for himself.” Another society starts everyone at the middle of the pyramid, and says “We care about you, and we trust you. We’re all in this together.” Which society is less likely to press that button? I want us to be that society.
This is why I feel so strongly about UBI. If we’re going to beat climate change, if we’re going to survive future advances in bio-technology, nanotechnology, and general AI… if we’re going to use Elon Musk’s Neuralink to interface with AI and in so doing become a civilization where that button really does exist, we have no choice but to become better. We have to. And we have to do it now, because we needed to do it yesterday.