THE future looks increasingly perilous for the human worker. New robots are no longer flummoxed by staircases and doorknobs; clever software is capable of driving cars and carrying on (rudimentary) conversations. While a workless world remains a distant possibility, a period of automation-driven disruption seems to loom ahead. Many futurists reckon that as machines replace people, governments will need to find ways to redistribute income from the machines (and the people who own them) to displaced workers, to ensure that the benefits of automation-driven growth are shared widely. In a recent interview Bill Gates proposed one method for doing this: a tax on robots, the money from which could be used to retrain workers and expand employment in health care and education. But is this the right response?
Source: The Economist