Should companies pay extra taxes on Artificial Intelligence (AI) or robotics technology they use to replace workers at factories?
My short answer is Yes.
My view is that companies may enjoy a long term reduction in operation cost by investing the capital upfront. The decrease in operating expenses may increase profits, reduce labor-related issues such as strikes, and most certainly increase efficiency in production. And the shareholders will be delighted with this.
However, there are some far-reaching socio-economic issues with the adoption of AI or robotic technology - especially for Africa and South Africa in particular.
Option 1: I think companies should consider the socio-economic impact of the technology that results in unemployment rates increasing. This consideration may include companies having a higher CSI budget.
Option 2: I think the government should consider regulating the extent to which AI or robotics is applied. Where the is a certain percentage of cost reduction, then the AI or robot ought to pay taxes as if it were a person.
We may then distribute AI or robots taxes to the unemployed skilled persons of the country.
I think this is a possible approach that may ensure more adoption of Artificial Intelligence in Africa and South Africa in particular.
I think we need to deal with the socio-economic impacts of AI technology. Why? It may help:
deal with the likely push back from unions
address the issue of high inequality
What are your thoughts?