Gates calls for Robot tax

Software king and sworn enemy of the mosquito, Sir William Gates III, has been suggesting that companies pay a tax on the robots they use.

Gate’s reasoning is that if a robot takes human job, it should continue to pay that human’s taxes.

In a recent interview with Quartz, Bill Gates said the move would temporarily slow the spread of automation and to fund other types of employment.

Money gained from taxing robots could then be used to finance jobs taking care of elderly people or working with kids in schools — jobs which humans are particularly well suited for:

Gates said that governments must oversee such programs rather than relying on businesses, to redirect the jobs to help people with lower incomes.

EU lawmakers considered a proposal to tax robot owners to pay for training for workers who lose their jobs. In the end though the legislators rejected it. Gate said that governments should be willing to raise the tax level and even slow down the speed of automation.

He said that technology and business cases for replacing humans in a wide range of jobs are arriving simultaneously, and it’s important to be able to manage that displacement.

“You cross the threshold of job replacement of certain activities all sort of at once,” Gates said. Warehouse work is already doomed.