Since the industrial revolution, technological innovation has led to loss in Jobs on a grant scale. Until now, at least the same technologies have created different jobs that ultimately offset these losses. But will this trend keep true?

Prof. Dr. John Davis thinks it might not. In his view developments in the fields of AI and robotics are encroaching on tasks previously only humans were thought able to.  On the 20th of November, he visited FRIBIS, giving a talk on the ethics of private and public property in the aforementioned context. He argues that, when trough progressive automation humans are pushed out of the job market with no future employment in sight, it might be ethically acceptable or good to fund a basic income from the increased profits of “the capitalist”. These profits he claims further are a new form of public property. Instead of falling back on established schools of anticapitalist thought, he structured his argument in a conversational style directly engaging with justifications offered by defenders of the status quo.

Coming to Freiburg to get an economic perspective on his thesis, he entered a productive discussion with the listeners. Although there was much agreement, some points were discussed from both the viewpoint of economics, social science in general and ethics. We thank Prof. Davis for his presentation and look forward to reading the paper that he is planning to publish on the talk’s subject.

Learn more about Prof. John Davis publications here.