Presidential candidate Andrew Yang talks geo-engineering, asteroid detection, space force and more!
Welcome to What the Future.
We have a very special show today.
I recently sat down with Andrew Yang, a candidate for president of the United States who has made an answer to automation one of the central issues of his campaign.
He shared with us his thoughts on tech, geoengineering, drones before, and much more.
Let's get into it and Yang, welcome.
It's great to be here.
Thank you for having me.
Is there any tech in particular you believe urgently needs to be monitored and regulated.
Well, I think the big issue right now that everyone's living and as a parent I, I've lived this is that smartphones are.
Producing high levels of anxiety and depression among adolescent girls in particular.
So we need to take a very long, hard look at that.
I'm friends with Tristan Harris, the ethicist who's looking at how to That make technology more human friendly.
I think that's front and center for me.
We cover a lot of robots on what the future, some of which are designed to do labor that is currently entrusted to human workers From fruit picking robots to self driving cars and trucks, to this super creepy robot hotel in Japan, its starting to feel like no job is safe from automation.
The development of the media industry calls for continued innovation.>> When did you first realize that automation.
Show is gonna be a problem.
To me it's very clear that the reason why Donald Trump won our election of 2016 was that we automated away four million manufacturing jobs in the states that I was working in.
And so if you compound that with millions of retail jobs and on and on then it's going to get very dark for many Americans.
Tell us a little bit about the Freedom Dividend.
So the Freedom Dividend is my flagship policy where every American adult receives $1,000 a month free and clear starting at age 18 and what this would enable Americans to do is just pay our bills, for one thing, cuz so many of us are having trouble with that, but then it also allows Americans to make transitions and move and start new businesses and start adapting for what's going to be a really Historic time of change.
The very same day that I sat down, with Andrew [INAUDIBLE] And estimated 1.4 million students around the world skipped school to protest an action on climate change.
No matter how you might feel about it, the climate conversation is shaping up to be a major issue for the democrats this election cycle, and emerging technology is going to be a critical part of that conversation.
What is your plan to address climate change?
What we are optimist about is that right now millions of Americans can't focus on climate change because they can't pay their bills when a few of their minds [INAUDIBLE] but they'll come and say hey, the earth?
They'll say, I can't pay my bills.
The climate can wait.
By offering freedom to them, we can get everyone head up and be able to focus on more and bigger Problems like climate change, which is existential threat 1A to our way of life.
So I'm for carbon fee and dividend, rejoining the Paris Accords, investing hundreds of billions in a more resilient infrastructure for the spirit of the Green New Deal.
The toughest part is that we're only 15% of global emissions, and so even if we go after it big, we're probably just gonna lower the rate a little bit.
So I would also invest in carbon capture and sequestration and geoengineering measures, because in my mind, unfortunately, I think at this point we either have to expect the worse or start trying to counteract the worst effects.
You mention geoengineering.
I know that certain ways of geoengineering can be kinda dicey in terms of the results that they produce.
What sorts of geoengineering would you be in favor of?
Well, I really like methods of geoengineering that you can undo without a problem.
And the dark part is that we are geoengineering right now.
We're geoengineering in the worst way possible, which is just like, accidentally and in a haphazard way.
So people are like, you can't mess with it.
It's like, are you kidding?
We're messing with it in a way it's gonna be catastrophic.
So I'll give you an example.
It's gonna sound sort of science fictiony, but you all will like it.
Is you send up a satellite on an elevator so it's like you can bring it back down.
You send up a satellite and then just have it have expandable mirrors that end up, you can block the sun and believe it or not that actually might help reduce the warming of the Earth.
And then, if you don't like it, you can either retract the mirrors or just bring the satellite down.
I think you also had something on your website about, like, shoring up glaciers?
Yeah, so glaciers melt because warm water hits their base.
And so if you shore up earth at the base of the glacier, and then the warm water hits the earth and you can slow the melt rate, possibly.
I'm not saying it's great.
There is no silver bullet.
But we certainly have to start making moves instead of just sort of waiting for the worse to occur.
I know we haven't seen much from it, but what role do you think fussion power is going to play?
I'm all for it, I mean if you can invest in the form of enery that solves your energy problems and bring instant [UNKNOWN] like that, I mean you have to.
I would also invest in an asteriod detection Telescope, because that's where we make a couple of million.
Right now we don't know, it's like something could be on the way like Armageddon style and we just wouldn't know.
So, it's like well,it's caught entire civilization versus 200 million.
It's like well we should probably spend our money.
Those are [LAUGH] just a few things we should do.
That are like in that direction.
What are your thoughts on the Green New Deal?
The Green New Deal is a tremendous vision and I just love the ambition of it and it's the right idea.
I mean we should be moving towards noble so, I'm all for the spirit of it we should try and get done as much of it as we can.
The Green New Deal has a federal jobs guarantee as one of its stated goals.
Do you think that that is an adequate response to the threat of automation, if everybody has a job waiting for them in the green sector?
You know, I absolutely love the spirit of a federal jobs guarantee, particularly if it's being used to install solar panels or whatnot.
But I'm concerned that a federal jobs guarantee in real life would be somewhere between problematic and dystopian.
Because if you imagine a world where it's like, hey hey million people here.
You know nothing to do you don't want to do, where to have you do this, and then if it's like, what if, what if I'm bad at a job.
What if I don't like that job.
What if I don't like my boss What if I want to say, Well, you know, it's this or nothing.
And if you don't do this, you die.
Than having Americans contingent upon that job for their survival strikes me as a huge danger in an equity.
So I'd much rather just put money into people's hands and then have them reconstitute various opportunities in businesses in their communities.
And then follow up and say like look, hey, we have this cool green jobs.
And then the people wanna do them and that would be tremendous.
And Andrew Young's candicacy has created a lot of buzz online including a curious [UNKNOWN] his campaign coming from the outright.
Andrew Young has already publicly denounced the outright saying, voters with a [UNKNOWN] agenda are not welcome in his campaign.
Still the alt right's infatuation with Yang's candidacy seems to endure.
[SOUND] Out of my own curiosity I looked into part of what was attracting them to your campaign and one of the things that struck me was their intent to possibly use the freedom dividend to drive a wedge between the immigrant community and citizens of this country.
Because all of these people coming here now have this hard cost attached to them.
Are there any steps that you plan on taking to prevent the Freedom Dividend from being weaponized in that way?
I'm for a long-term path to citizenship.
I'm for treating immigrants in a very humane, protective fashion, documented, undocumented.
Again, growing up as children of immigrants, it feels very.
Close to home and personal.
How do you feel about deep platforming as a way to curb hate speech and the spread of hateful ideologies?
Yeah, it's so interesting, because you can see both sides.
Obviously, as a platform, you're like, well, I just wanna control people are doing.
But then when you have truly hateful ideologies that are using your platform as a way to communicate, we saw with this.
Terrible New Zealand shooting, where the person was definitely plugged in to a community and even trying to like sort of broadcast it in one, it's very twisted.
So I think that, that example shows that if you can imagine the platform is a way to diffuse hate and violence then it's something you'd have to consider.
It's tough because right now there are private companies that are making these decisions and then they get attacked whatever decision they make.
So one of the suggestions I'd have is that we get it off the backs of the private companies to make those decisions.
If you're a platform that we know ends up being one of the major congregation points for various ideologies than You can't just let that stuff continue to fester and grow, so I think there are times when either the company or the government has to step in.
Unmanned aerial vehicles are shaping the future of urban transportation.
The future of shipping, and the future of warfare.
President Obama oversaw roughly ten times as many drone strikes as George W. Bush, and according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, there were more drone strikes in the first two year of the Trump presidency than in Obama's entire eight years.
Do you think the drone strokes would also increase under President Yang?
I do not.
I think these drone strikes it's something sorta impersonal about them where you're just it's a drone strike.
I mean, what are you really talking about?
You're talking about sending a drone hovering in the air and just raining death on people.
If there's a vital national interest at stake, then you have to do what you have to do to protect the American people, but Like I get the sense that we might have gone a little bit like too far, in terms of our acceptance of what we can do in these environments.
Do you believe the federal government has a responsibility to disclose to the American public, how many civilians are killed and drone strikes that are conducted on their behalf.
I think that that is a fantastic datapoint to report to the American people and give a sense as to exactly, cuz you can approve what you don't measure, so you have to have some accountability.
And so if you say, look, we killed this many civilians, but it was vitally important, then Americans could at least make that determination.
Would President Yang be transparent with those numbers?
Yes, I would.
[SOUND] I'm hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch Of the armed forces.
That's a big statement.
President Trump recently signed a Space Force Policy Directive-4, which creates a space force department as part of the United States Airforce.
Do you think that the militarization of space is a good idea or bad idea?
Apparently all of everyone's space stuff is super vulnerable.
Like any of us could take out anyone else's space stuff, it's just sort of hanging there.
[LAUGH] And then after you do something to someone's satellite, then they all become clouds of debris that just whip around and can just destroy things.
Everything's very fragile.
[LAUGH] And so if the US is trying to Find ways to advance our capabilities in space.
That's not intrinsically a bad thing, but I certainly wouldn't want to do something that's needlessly aggressive and just designed to Kind of like one-up our rivals cuz the truth is, at this point we all have half a dozen different ways to destroy each other and so there's like no real reason to be like ooh, I've got a seventh now.
You know, [LAUGH] It doesn't really help, particularly because everyone's base infrastructure is, again, so fragile that you're living in this Constant world of necessary cooperation.
Because if anything goes bad, then all of our space stuff is gonna go away.
Thank you so much for joining us.
If you wanna find out more about the platform, just go to yang2020.com or Google Andrew Yang, and let's get that White House!
Thank you all so much.
Thanks for much for watching What the Future.
I'm your host Jesse Orrall, see you next time.