Now Cuban has apparently decided to move past his previous, and at times quite harsh, critiques of Trump to instead implore him make the U.S. the world leader in robotics.
“We need to help develop domestic companies much like we did the electric car and wind and solar industries,” wrote Cuban in a blog post on Sunday night. “Even if it means trying to help pick winners. We have to win the robotics race. We are not even close right now.”
The move from major critic to publicly attempting to give Trump heartfelt advice might seem like a dramatic turn, but Cuban has never been shy about following his gut, even if it means turning on a dime. In fact, just weeks after the election, Cuban was spotted sitting at a private meeting with close Trump advisor Steve Bannon.
The image of Cuban sitting with Bannon took many by surprise, but it’s clear that Cuban has no intention of simply ignoring the Trump administration just because he disagreed with the candidate during the race.
“I would take 100 billion of the proposed $1 trillion dollars in infrastructure investment and invest it in robotics.” —Mark Cuban
Cuban’s latest comments are directed at Trump’s plan to invest $1 trillion in U.S. infrastructure, such as roads and bridges.
“If it was me spending the money, I would take 100 billion of the proposed $1 trillion dollars in infrastructure investment and invest it in robotics,” says Cuban. “Why is this so important? Because technological change always accelerates. It never stagnates over time. Which means we are going to face the fact that if nothing in the States changes, we will find ourselves dependent on other countries for almost everything that can and will be manufactured in a quickly approaching future.”
However, Cuban’s advice seems to fly in the face of those Trump supporters who are hoping he’ll deliver on his campaign promise to bring more jobs to the U.S. As Elon Musk has mentioned, automation is accelerating, a process that will continue to erase a large number of (often blue-collar) human jobs (for example, self-driving trucks).
Nevertheless, Cuban, aware of this jobs dynamic, is adamant in his position on robotics.
“We have to face the fact that countries are going to lose jobs to robotics,” says Cuban. “The only question that needs to be answered is which country will create and own the best robotic technology and have the infrastructure necessary to enable it. Right now it’s not the USA and that needs to change. Our ‘infrastructure’ spending should look forwards, not backwards so that we can be the robotics hub of the world.”
Cuban shared the blog post on Twitter, Trump’s favorite platform, so it’s likely Trump has already seen the tweet. When and if Trump responds, positively or negatively, it may give us another clue about what lies ahead for the U.S. in 2017.