The topic of tax is crazy enough with the many laws and regulations on the books for local, state, and federal governments. Now, we are adding AI into the mix and trying to create a clear path forward.
But, artificial intelligence, bots, and taxes are starting to play in the same sandbox. However, there are pros and cons that both sides of the debate voice pertaining to “robot taxes”.
01:51: Rob shares his background and experience as an economist by training. Much of his research involves the economics of new technologies and the firms that are adopting them. Then, he sees how the technologies are affecting the firm. He considers this in terms of its performance as well as in terms of how it organizes itself.
04:05: The idea of a robot tax is sometimes referred to as an automation tax. But, we need to consider if robot taxes make sense or not.
07:58: Taking a look back at history, the innovation of the steam engines in the UK, or early electrification in the US, or early IT in the US in the 1980s and 1990s – all of this lead to productivity growth and a boost to the economy.
“Firms that are adopting AI are seeing faster growth [and] more employment. The firm’s that aren’t adopting these new technologies are getting left behind.”Robert Seamans, Associate Professor of the NYU Stern School of Business
14:05: The definition of a robot has shifted over time. This creates a challenge. It’s a semantic exercise, but really sets the stage of this: How can you tax a robot if there isn’t a clear definition of it?
18:14: There is early evidence that the firms adopting new technologies, such as AI, are actually hiring more workers.
22:09: Rob emphasizes that the place where people come from, that support Universal Basic Income, is a place of wanting to improve things for workers. These are the policies that we want to be thinking about. We especially want to consider these as more and more robots AI and other technologies enter our economy. But, Rob doesn’t think a robot tax is the right policy.
25:06: Firms that are adopting new technologies, such as AI and automation, are the ones that really benefit the most as they are also investing in their existing human capital as well as in new human capital.