Browse Definitions:
Definition

robot tax

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Robot tax is a proposition that employers who replace employees with automated workers be required to pay a tax and the funds allocated to assist the displaced workforce. The purpose of such a tax would be to slow the advance of automation, while helping to mitigate the effect of job loss.

There are a couple of ways a robot tax could work: The business could be required to pay the tax for each robot based on the displaced employee's salary; automated workers that replace humans would be taxed at the same rate as the employee would pay income tax. Alternatively, a business might simply be taxed for using a robot, without any correspondence to employees' salaries. In either case, the tax collected would be used to help displaced workers through initiatives such as retraining and a universal basic income.

One problem with implementing a robot tax is the question of how we define a robot. Within the field of robotics, a robot is a physical system that performs tasks with some degree of autonomy. If an android robot performs the same job during the same hours as a human, the equation is clear. (However, robots don't require the same breaks as humans and can work longer hours and back-to-back shifts.)

Many systems performing tasks that were formerly conducted by humans are what is being called software robots, and there are no clear criteria for differentiating a software robot from many other types of software. Furthermore, that software will typically perform some portion of the work of multiple employees rather than simply performing the same work as an individual employee. Given the efficiencies of software, one such system (or multiple, different systems) could replace a significant number of workers.

Bill Gates explains why he thinks a robot tax is a good idea:

This was last updated in April 2017

Continue Reading About robot tax

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces.

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

SearchSecurity

  • FIDO (Fast Identity Online)

    FIDO (Fast ID Online) is a set of technology-agnostic security specifications for strong authentication. FIDO is developed by the...

  • cryptanalysis

    Cryptanalysis is the study of ciphertext, ciphers and cryptosystems with the aim of understanding how they work and finding and ...

  • Trojan horse (computing)

    In computing, a Trojan horse is a program that appears harmless, but is, in fact, malicious.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • wear leveling

    Wear leveling is a process that is designed to extend the life of solid-state storage devices.

  • storage area network (SAN)

    A storage area network (SAN) is a dedicated high-speed network or subnetwork that interconnects and presents shared pools of ...

  • SSD TRIM

    SSD TRIM is an Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) command that enables an operating system to inform a NAND flash solid-state ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close