Sure sign that Bill Gates has no plans to start selling robots:
In a new interview with Quartz, Microsoft founder Bill Gates makes a rather stunning argument—that robots who replace human workers should incur taxes equivalent to that worker’s income taxes. “Right now, the human worker who does, say, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed . If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level.” Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter.
So what will tax-paying robots do when April 15 rolls around? Take exemptions for all their robotic “children,” i.e. Roombas, Xboxes, and Alexas? Deduct replacement batteries as “medical expenses?” You can bet they’ll all file online.
But following Mr. Gates’ logic, if technological products that displace human labor should pay tax on the value they produce, don’t word processing programs and spreadsheets already fall into that category? Plenty of typesetting jobs and bookkeeping positions were made obsolete by Microsoft Word and Excel. Shouldn’t there be an Excel tax and a Microsoft Word tax? Just sayin’.