Y Combinator head who pushes basic income is reportedly running for office

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Enlarge / Sam Altman, president of Y Combinator and co-chairman of OpenAI, seen here in July 2016.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images News

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president of storied Silicon Valley startup accelerator Y Combinator, is reportedly considering a run for governor of California in 2018.

According to San Francisco Chronicle columnist Willie Brown, Altman recently came to Brown for political advice. Brown served as mayor of San Francisco for eight years, and is a veteran of state politics.

Next year, the race for the governorship of the most populous state in America will be wide open for the first time in many years, with Gov. Jerry Brown facing term limits.

Among the top prospective candidates right now are two former mayors of Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively: Antonio Villaraigosa and Gavin Newsom. (Willie Brown preceded Newsom as San Francisco’s mayor.)

Brown described what he told Altman: “California has a history of millionaires running for public office on their own dime. Most wind up paying consultants a whole lot of money and losing.”

announced, YC hasn’t touted any data or results.

In October 2016, Altman was quoted in the New Yorker as saying that when artificial intelligence reshapes the economy, “we’re going to have unlimited wealth and a huge amount of job displacement, so basic income really makes sense. Plus, the stipend will free up that one person in a million who can create the next Apple.”

Altman did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment.

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