Kevin Lepton

I am the writer, editor and publisher behind this future technology blog and I predict you will keep reading to see what is coming right around that metaphorical corner.

Tax the Robots Says Bill Gates

 Robotics  Comments Off on Tax the Robots Says Bill Gates
Apr 112017

The age of automation and artificial intelligence has arrived, and there’s no turning it back. While this is mostly good news for businesses and technology enthusiasts, it mainly spells out bad news for workers whose jobs can be automated and who can be replaced by robots in the near future. As a result, a lot of people are worrying that AI wave will leave them unemployed and struggling to feed themselves and their families.

However, tech mogul and Microsoft founder Bill Gates seems to have the answer to these worries: tax the robots.


Taxes and Automatons

It might seem ludicrous to think that robots would fret about VAT and income taxes, but Gates thinks that taxing them is a good idea. For instance, if a human worker in a factory is replaced by a robot, the automaton should be charged the same amount of taxes that the human paid when he was employed.


Gates believes that robot companies will not mind if they are charged with taxes for their automated workers. For one thing, they will be earning higher revenues since their laborers will be 100 percent efficient (something that humans can’t achieve) and have a steady stream of productivity. Companies will also save a significant amount of money since their robots won’t need sick leave, maternity or paternity leave, and retirement plans and pensions. With their increased earnings and lower overhead costs, businesses won’t find it hard to pay their robot taxes.


What to Do with the Money

The taxes collected from the robots could then be used to train the displaced laborers for other jobs, especially those that require human empathy. Some of them can work as teachers, which will allow schools to have smaller class sizes and ensure each child will receive one-on-one training. Others can be trained to become special education experts and assist children with special needs. Still others can be educated as nurses, nursing aides, and caregivers and provide high-quality healthcare to the sick and the elderly.

Gates points out that charging taxes can help slow down the advancement of automation. This might seem like a strange statement coming from a tech entrepreneur, but Gates is right in that the spread of automation needs to be controlled, especially in terms of its effects on job displacement. This way, the government and businesses can work together to create transition programs for displaced workers and minimize the negative impact that automation will have on families and even entire communities.

And yes, the government should get involved. Gates states that the government must play an active role in controlling the speed of automation and labor displacement instead of just relying on businesses to do everything. This way, inequity won’t be so rampant, and those in the low-income bracket won’t become even more disadvantaged.


Pair It with Universal Basic Income

Forbes contributor Ian Morris points out that robot taxation can also be merged with the concept of universal basic income. This can be funded by the amount collected from automation taxes and will ensure that everyone will have a monthly income that they can use to fulfill their basic needs. Morris agrees, though, that the country and the entire world will have to go through a painful transition before a balance can be achieved between automation and labor displacement.


Pilotless Drone Helicopter Taxis Close to Reality

 Drones  Comments Off on Pilotless Drone Helicopter Taxis Close to Reality
Mar 312017


Are you ready for the future of commuting? Well, brace yourself because the next big thing has finally arrived. In fact, the drone helicopter taxi has been unveiled in Las Vegas at the CES International event last January 2017 and in the United Arab Emirates during its World Government Summit.

Pilotless Drone Aerial Vehicle

The concept is simple, but if you look at it, you might have second thoughts as to whether you should embark on this piece of metal without anyone to send you off your destination. Basically, it is a pilotless vehicle with a top speed of 100mph good for one seating only. Sources say, it will be operational by July.

This product is from a Chinese manufacturer EHang 184. It allows the passenger to interact with a touch-screen monitor in order to choose a destination of up to 31 miles away. However, the trip will be supervised by a ground control team to ensure that the drone is performing as expected.

The said aerial vehicles will be operational in Dubai come July after the transport head of the city have confirmed experimentation with the vehicle to meet possible demands of its passengers. The small egg-shaped drone has a couple of small propellers on each leg as part of the design.

Personal Preference of the Designer

According to the designer, it was made out of personal preference. His idea came out when 2 of his friends were killed in a separate airplane crash incident. Thus, it resulted in designing a prototype that should be safe for aerial travel.

The Chinese company aims to make the controls, along with the overall experience as simple as possible. So, once the passenger sets up the flight plan with just a single click, he or she can now take off on any location, sit back, and enjoy the ride.

Possible Safety Issues

However, despite the simplicity and safety features of the design, there are safety concerns that still raised some questions. This includes questions related to the flight controller if ever it would fail in mid-air. In fact, there are no joysticks or steering wheels that users might have to use whenever necessary.

In response, the company states that there are several multiple fail-safe procedures in place that could take over if failure occurs. So, when an accident is imminent, the flight control center is going to intervene if needed.

Future of Transportation

According to Uber head of product, instead of drones or helicopter-style rotors, they are looking for ways to design a shuttle that would send commuters to and from their destination. In fact, they are trying to research about some vertical landing and takeoff technology to follow their design.

The said plan might also change how people travel from one point to another. Moreover, the plan of moving traffic from land to air should cut down traffic congestion, including the time in crossing cities.

On the other hand, EHang is looking forward to materialize the plan of Dubai to unleash the flying drone taxis by July, after successful test flights in 2017.



5 Future Technologies to Plan For Pronto

 Future Technology  Comments Off on 5 Future Technologies to Plan For Pronto
Feb 172017

Technology is a critical part of running a business and every entrepreneur should always be on the lookout for the latest technology trends to do well in the industry. And with new things coming out every so often, it’s best to know which ones will give you leverage over your competitors.

  1. IoT

Today, you can do more a hundred things with a small device that you can carry in your pocket, from placing orders to your suppliers to presiding over a teleconference with your team from different parts of the globe. The Internet of Things or simply IoT is basically the idea of connecting any device or equipment with on and off switch to the internet. It helps in operations and logistics. IoT can also be used to make your personal life more convenient and simpler. That said, applying this technology to your business and personal activities offers a myriad of opportunities.

  1. Blockchain

As a type of distribution ledger, blockchain shows great potential for your enterprise, whatever industry you belong to. It can be used for the distribution of music, verification of identity and for those in the shipping industry, for recording distribution of shipping containers. Since it is associated with cryptology and bitcoin, a blockchain is not easily tampered so it is secure. With this technology, business processes will be speedy and transparent. Moreover, business transactions can be streamlined, thus supply chain will be more efficient.

  1. Automation and the Gig Economy

While automation is already being applied in most business, not all entrepreneurs are taking advantage of digitalizing the way they conduct their businesses. With automation, say in factories and plants, equipment operators just need to be trained to operate the machinery and production will be higher. It will also open other jobs for people. As for a gig economy, companies will benefit from getting skilled workers and specialists and pay them for the job, per se, no overtime pay or benefits.

  1. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

When Pokemon GO was released last year, it became a craze, although it also died down after a few months. Some video game developers have also started using VR and AR in their games and consumers are catching up. However, this year, there two technology trends are expected to be in the mainstream, with more businesses using AR and VR to improve customer experience. Different industry sectors will benefit from these two, such as, retail, construction, fashion and film, to name a few.

  1. Artificial Intelligence

Most of us have heard about the concept of AI from the movies years ago and seemed to be impossible to happen for real. What we can imagine is a talking robot that is similar to us, humans. Today, there are two versions of AI, deep learning and machine learning. This year, we expect to see AI to be applied in our systems. Machine learning is more on learning using statistics and coming up with guidelines while deep learning leans more on educating oneself with the use of data. With big tech players like Amazon, Apple, Google and IBM in the game, there is no doubt AI will be a trend this year.