Working robots should pay tax to support humans working in jobs that require empathy and care, Bill Gates has said in an interview with Quartz.
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.
Gates said if you take the people who used to do jobs that robots can replace, such as automated roles in factories and retail, and put them in roles that require caring and empathy, such as teaching and social care, you’re “net ahead”.
But, he says, we'd still need the income tax, because that’s what was funding human workers.
Gates suggests that some of this funding could come from the profits made by efficiency savings, and the rest of it from “robot tax”.
There are more than 30 million taxpayers in the UK, earning around £1,012 bn a year - and around 35 per cent of current jobs are at high risk of being computerised over the next 20 years, according to research by Oxford University.
So that’s a lot of tax these robots are going to have to cough up.
Here's the video - with a delightful giggle from Gates at the end: