Will robots ever pay taxes? It may sound like science fiction, but this debate is already on the table. Some people even go so far as to say that they will contribute decisively to the so-called Universal Basic Income (UBI).
The Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a socio-political policy proposal in which all citizens of a country receive a legally stipulated and equally established economic subsidy. A basic income can be implemented at a national, regional or local level.
It is worth saying that here we understand robots in their broadest sense: from computers equipped with artificial intelligence and powerful algorithms to androids such as Boston Dynamics or Honda’s Asimo.
During the industrial revolution, employees worked long hours on the assembly line, which was a dull and unskilled task. But does it make any sense in the 21st century?
In the future it is more than likely that many jobs will still require humans; specially those jobs that involve a human touch (teachers, social educators, therapists, psychologists…) or that have an artistic or creative aspect (designers, craftsmen, painters, writers, artists in general…).
In fact, there is a website that tells you what the chances are that your job will end up being replaced by a robot, namely, Will robots take my job?
To calm us all down a bit, new jobs and positions will emerge that don’t even exist yet.
However, robots with increasingly sophisticated algorithms will eventually replace more and more human workers to do any task that can be turned into algorithms. A cashpoint or ATM replaces an average of 6 workers in a bank branch; Wall Mart replaced its accountants with computers, algorithms rule finances, and we are used to seeing more robots than humans on assembly lines.
The crux of the matter is finding a win-win-win formula that works for everyone: workers who will be replaced by robots, the robots themselves, and the employers.
But is this even possible?
A groundbreaking proposal has emerged from the Blockchain community: What if robots paid taxes, our Social Security and UBI in cryptocurrencies?
The system would work like this:
- The robots would do their work, for which they would receive a salary in digital currencies; 🤖🟡🟡🟡
- then robots would allocate one third of their salary to pay for their maintenance, another 1/3 would go straight to the citizens’ wallet (the aforementioned Universal Basic Income), and finally, 1/3 would go to Social Security 👨👩👧👧🟡🟡🟡
- people could pay for goods and services, among other things, with such Universal Basic Income (UBI). 👨👩👧👧🟡🟡🟡🚙🏖👠
- business owners would benefit from this system and be able to reinvest and keep on providing goods and services to citizens. 👩💻 🟡🟡🟡
It looks like a virtuous cycle: entrepreneurs can sell their products, citizens have an income every month and robots pay for their maintenance, UBI and Social Security. Those who want to have a higher standard of living can continue to work to supplement their UBI. Cryptocurrencies that generate the by-product known as ‘gas’ or other even other digital currencies or assets could also be used for this purpose.
It may take some getting used to, but we’re already used to vending machines, ATMs and talking to Siri or Cortana, our virtual assistants, not to mention Chat GPT.
It sounds like a brilliant win-win-win formula that could turn a future often seen as dystopian into an alternative one where people would enjoy more free time. After all, robots perform boring and repetitive tasks that we humans usually don’t like doing.
Robot drawn by Artificial Intelligence (AI)
It would be a great breakthrough in technology and a turning point in human history, both in social and technological terms. Whether this is just unfounded speculation or a serious proposal, it remains to be seen. Stranger things have happened.