Should Robots be taxed?
Ludicrous? Perhaps, but the idea was floated recently by none other than Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Gates offered up the concept as a way for governments to slow the loss of jobs to automation.
It’s unlikely you’ll see robots paying income tax any time soon of course, but the mechanical workers have become commonplace in many work environments, including some you’d least expect. The demise of domestic manufacturing, is well documented, and can be credited in part to robotics. Lesser known is the extent to which robotics has entered the film and advertising industries. A recent article in Ad Age cited the role that artificial intelligence (AI) – the technology behind robotics – plays in creating ads, movies and music: an AI-created short film debuted at Cannes last year; the film was conceived, directed and filmed by machines. Brands as varied as Campbell Soup, Domino’s, and Starbucks are using AI to diversify their marketing approach.
In the security industry, robots are already patrolling malls, and the latest versions are designed to sense irregularities and report them to the proper authorities. Their inventors insist that the robots are intended to assist – and not replace – in house security teams.
Perhaps Bill Gates is on to something. What’s the upside to this, and can the technology be leveraged for future growth? Read the article, and more of Bill Gate’s comments, then judge for yourself.