UNITED KINGDOM: Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee on benefits of UBI
Computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee — best known for his founding of the World Wide Web in 1989 — was awarded this year’s Charleston-EFG John Maynard Keynes Prize for “exceptional and inter-disciplinary talents in the spirit of John Maynard Keynes’ work, life and legacy.”
Partially in recognition of this achievement, Berners-Lee was interviewed by The Economist in a recent podcast, where he was presented with a question from a member of the Keynes family, The Economist economics correspondent Soumaya Keynes.
Soumaya’s question: “Are you among the group of technologists who favor a basic income?”
While acknowledging the that issue is complicated, Berners-Lee was clearly sympathetic to the idea — emphasizing the relative simplicity and efficiency of basic income (which he described as a “smooth system”), and expressing agreement that a basic income could help to reduce technologically-driven inequality.
Listen to the podcast here (discussion of basic income begins at around 10:30):
Tom Standage (interviewer). “The Economist asks: Can the open web survive?” The Economist. May 27, 2016.
Image Source: By John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, via Wikimedia Commons