The San Francisco city supervisor, Jane Kim, is pushing the robot tax and has launched a statewide campaign with the hope of bringing revenue-raising ideas to the state legislature or directly to voters.
The idea was voiced by the billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, earlier this year. Bill Gate suggests that a robot tax may slow the pace of automation, and give those who might be displaced by a digital worker an opportunity to be get some training for another job. Bill Gates believes that robots should be taxed the same as humans.
See a video embed of his interview with Qz:
The basic principle here, is that funds raised from the robot tax could find a lot of applications in helping displaced workers or to developing a base income initiative e.g. for every human job lost to robot labor, companies can be made to pay the same amount of tax and social security that person was due, to educate people for better work specifically allocated for human labor.
Kim, who got the idea for the robot tax from Bill Gates, is now talking to tech leaders, public policy makers, and labor groups in San Francisco to find out how the new robot tax might be implemented in San Francisco.