Microsoft founder Bill Gates recently suggested that robots primed to replace humans in the workplace should be taxed. While Gates’s proposal received a mixed reception, it mainly served to stoke an erroneous narrative that humans need to fear robots stealing their jobs.
According to the Fortune, Robots will be able to perform tasks that significantly impact the traditionally human workforce in irreversible ways within the next five years. But first, people who build and program all forms of AI need to ensure their wiring prevents robots from causing more harm than good.
Certainly, though, a superior level of humanity will be required to make wide-ranging decisions and consistently act in the best interest of actual humans involved in work-related encounters in fully automated environments. In short, humans will need to establish workforce standards and build training programs for AI and robots geared toward filling ethical gaps in robotic cognition.
But before we think about taxing robots and AI, we need to get the basics of the self-learning technology right, and develop comprehensive ethical standards that hold up for the long term. Builders need to ensure that the AI they are creating has the ability to learn and improve in order to be ethical, adaptable, and accountable prior to replacing traditionally human-held jobs.
Our responsibility is to make AI that significantly improves upon work humans do. Otherwise, we will end up replicating mistakes and replacing human-held jobs with robots that have ill-defined purpose.