If Artificial Intelligence and automation is going to replace the world’s entire workforce, we’re all going to need to give up any hope of employment and become startup entrepreneurs and innovation investors instead. They couldn’t possibly automate those, could they?

Imagine a machine that somehow manages to get control of a well-funded bank account in some less than inquisitive place on this planet.

It has a startup idea.

It pitches it to a well known startup investor in an email, sent posing as a human founder.

Gets a favourable emailed response.

In it, the investor insists on a face to face meeting.

The machine sends an email to a lawyer to act on its behalf, telling the lawyer to attend the meeting and negotiate the deal.

The lawyer replies saying it’ll be expensive, asks: “Are you sure”?

The machine says “Send an invoice”.

The machine’s idea needs a tech supplier. The only suitable one is a startup. The founders are looking for investment.

The machine finds the startup, sends an email asking them (again, posing as a person) to pitch to it for funding.

A video, slide deck and business plan are soon emailed by the startup and received by the machine.

The machine then asks the lawyer to negotiate the investment.

If both of these deals are done, the machine will be both a founder and a funder.

To have a successful, convincing dialogue with the lawyer, and before that, with the bank, the machine would need to be able to pass The Turing Test and so we can feel safe, because we know it couldn’t.

Or could it?