Silicon Valley loves the idea of basic income. Luminaries such as Marc Andreessen and Peter Diamandis have spoken favorably of giving away free money, so that nobody is poor. And now a leading startup incubator is prepared to put money where its technobabble comes from. Y Combinator, which helped bring Dropbox, Reddit, and Airbnb into being, is funding an experiment to see whether a basic income could work in this country.
Y Combinator president Sam Altman says he's attracted to the concept because it's "the right thing to do" and because artificial intelligence and robots could eliminate millions of the jobs in the next decade or two. "I'm interested in how we can start preparing for that now," he tells Co.Exist.