The rise and rise of robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) has crept into the news recently. Bill Gates, allegedly the richest man on the planet has spoken out in support of the idea of taxing robots where it is clear that it has replaced a human job (which reduces tax revenue and creates a new dependent on state benefits). Others argue that such taxation is impossible as we cannot disaggregate which pieces of technology affect which jobs (think about how a spreadsheet – a piece of software – reduced the need for clerks and book keepers). How to quantify what is responsible for what is never easy.
One thing is for sure, if there are no jobs left for people, we will all have to work out our function and purpose before the machines do it for us!
How did we live without robots
How did we manage our lives
I bought a robot that mimics hard work
He bought a robot that thrives.
I now have got plenty of leisure
To do as I please in a flash
However the drawback is vexing
I no longer have any cash.
There’s nothing inside the exchequer
The government’s scratching it’s head
They thought that AI would bring pleasure
But butter’s no good without bread.
So be careful the things that you wish for
Your wishes might one day come true
Replacing yourself with a robot
Might leave you with nothing to do.