Shropshire Star

Peter Rhodes on free wages, Tel Aviv and Auntie's guidance from Gary

When AI (Artificial Intelligence) takes over jobs once done by humans, what becomes of the humans? A kind and visionary solution comes from Geoffrey Hinton, former vice-president of Google, who suggests a universal basic income. In other words, people made jobless by AI would be paid by the state not to work.

Could AI take your job?

Some time ago we might have viewed this as the economics of the mad house. But the more we see of global finance, the more we realise that public money is not like real money. Massive debts are the norm and a government that says it can't afford more nurses can suddenly find a few billions to wage war. The magic money tree is thriving.

However, having considered Mr Hinton's kindly solution, let's consider another solution, the sort that might be cooked up not by humans but by AI programs. I can imagine a couple of AI systems concluding: “You know the trouble with this planet? Too many humans.“ And that's when compulsory mass sterilisation makes perfect sense. Or worse . . . .

I'm not surprised that a 19-year-old Palestinian in Manchester seeks to justify the orgy of torture and killing unleashed by Hamas on October 7 and says she is “full of joy” about the atrocity. Passions run high and silly teenagers have always tended to shoot from the lip.

Nor am I surprised that the Home Office has rescinded this person's student visa on the grounds that her being here in the UK is “not conducive to the public good.” And I'm certainly not surprised that the student has now invoked that hoary old chestnut, claiming that her “human rights” have been infringed by the ban. What's really surprising is that this teenager from Palestine has come to an English university to study law. How can any would-be lawyer square that noble calling with publicly praising rapists and murderers? Beats me.

Meanwhile, more trouble for the BBC which stands accused of breaching its own long-standing editorial guidelines in a report suggesting Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem, is the capital of Israel. Can Auntie do better in future? A viewer on the Beeb's website suggests the BBC resolves any controversial decision by asking itself a simple question: “What would Gary Lineker say?”

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