AI. It is a hot topic. Everyone is all about AI. It is not a new topic. The first AI conference was held in 1956. It was there, in the Dartmouth Conference, where the term AI was born. Guess AI has finally reached its tipping point, and become famous and commonplace knowledge.

Somehow despite all the information out there on AI, the conversations are superficial and often had to either sound intelligent and/or to be current. One of the things I have heard one too many times now is – oh, we will lose our jobs and income to AI. Ok. Well, that is kind of a valid conclusion, seeing how AI is good, and will get even better, at recalling facts. So many jobs, especially those which involve recalling and stating facts will disappear eventually. Also I suppose jobs which are repetitive, like that of the huisarts‘take two paracetamols and go to bed’, whenever a patient approaches sick with a type of sickness.

It has been said that the job which will be the most resistant to being replaced by AI is archaeology. AI apparently and simply cannot undertake the complex task of digging and dusting dirt with care and purpose. Maybe it can assist, but only assist. Also whoever is sitting at the student administration help desk of universities, processing requests for copies of grade transcripts from old diplomas. I found this out myself when I tried – the Chat bot was not able to help, the human was.

But just to go a bit deeper than merely the conclusion of jobs disappearing, which I kept hearing; I asked myself, besides the archaeologists and university help desks then; who is the government going to tax if there are no workers left to tax? How is the government going to earn its revenue if most people become jobless? That led me to google this topic. Clearly, and luckily I am not the only one asking this important question (in my opinion, of course). People (experts, researchers, professionals, etc), and not AI, apparently, are asking about the possibility of treating AI/Robots as independent taxable subjects. Now that would make a good discussion. And of course, what about owners of AI/Robots being taxed, just like that car sitting in the driveway? I mean if Elon Musk keeps innovating at the rate he tweets, your car will be your AI/Robot I suppose.

Someone forwarded this poem to me on WhatsApp. As a lover of finance and poetry, I leave you with this. Maybe you can go ahead and google more on AI and taxes (trying to move away from giving facts to inspiring), and maybe you can try to add a few lines of your own (creativity as an asset only seems to appreciate in value, as time goes by) …

The Tax Poem By Author Unknown

Tax his land, tax his wage,
Tax his bed in which he lays.
Tax his tractor, tax his mule,
Teach him taxes is the rule.

Tax his cow, tax his goat,
Tax his pants, tax his coat.
Tax his ties, tax his shirts,
Tax his work, tax his dirt.

Tax his chew, tax his smoke,
Teach him taxes are no joke.
Tax his car, tax his grass,
Tax the roads he must pass.

Tax his food, tax his drink,
Tax him if he tries to think.
Tax his sodas, tax his beers,
If he cries, tax his tears.

Tax his bills, tax his gas,
Tax his notes, tax his cash.
Tax him good and let him know
That after taxes, he has no dough.

If he hollers, tax him more,
Tax him until he’s good and sore.
Tax his coffin, tax his grave,
Tax the sod in which he lays.

Put these words upon his tomb,
“Taxes drove me to my doom!”
And when he’s gone, we won’t relax,
We’ll still be after the inheritance tax.

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Over Kiran Aswani

Exploration of human nature has been a lifelong interest, and gathering the knowledge and deeper understanding of the world, a constant pursuit. Having lived on four continents and having been exposed to so many places and persons, I find myself even more curious, and with a heightened awareness. In Fontys, I teach finance and accounting in the International Business program. My blog is an exercise in critical thinking, looking at the intersection between finance-education-life.