Stephen Hawking: robots could give us all material abundance, unless rich people hoard all the wealth

In a Reddit AMA, the eminent physicist warns that while increasing automation could give us a world of "luxurious leisure," that "most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution."

Paging Thomas Piketty, your ride is here.

If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.

If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. [Stephen Hawking/Reddit]

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