Should robots be taxed?

Rise of AI ‘potential game-changer’ that could destabilize jobs, society: Labour lawyer
By Marcel Vander Wier
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/30/2017
Dinosaur Robots
Dinosaur robots acting as receptionists greet a hotel employee at the Henn na Hotel Maihama Tokyo Bay in Urayasu, east of Tokyo. Credit: Issei Kato (Reuters)

For better or for worse, the age of working robots is upon us.

But are employers and government giving the transformation enough consideration? Bill Gates doesn’t think so. In February, the founder of Microsoft said global governments should look at taxing companies’ use of robots to help fund the retraining efforts of workers put out of a job.

“Right now, if a human worker does... $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed. If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level,” he said in an interview with Quartz.