Has anyone else been to the grocery store lately and noticed a lack of human employees? I’m not just talking about self check out either. I was strolling through the local Martins the other day when a tall grey robot janitor glided past me as if it had been on the job for years.
When I looked into I discovered something terrifying. Marty the robot is a supervisor. It doesn’t clean messes, it reports them for others to clean. You might think that’s very limiting but It also scans shelves and products. It uses the info to order people to order more products or fix mislabeled items. Good at least people still do the work, right? for how long? Installing a white collar robot first is just a gateway for the worker bots to move on in. It’s a first step towards no humans.
I’m sure many of you have seen or hear news of our super low unemployment rates and booming economy. This is great for sure. It doesn’t get into the fact that a lot of agriculture jobs are short handed because of Visa issues or that wages are stagnant over all but it’s still positive right?
But that bubble is about to burst. We all know this right? It’s no secret that automation is about to reach it’s stride over the next few years. I mean there were those jobs at Apple and Carrier that got a fat Trump check to stay local only for them to use the money to buy robots to replace people.
That’s the norm going forward. People are expensive with all the benefits and all that, plus they call out and get sick. Robots are an easy investment and they don’t take vacations or naps for that matter.
So, why are we celebrating low unemployment? It’s like the calm before the meteor. We should be talking about automation taxes and universal basic incomes and how to take care of a populous that doesn’t do labor anymore.
I know some of you think there will always be jobs. I think that’s naïve to say the least. I mean self repairing robots with machine learning are right around the corner and they wont need you or anyone else to maintain them.
I can draw and paint so I will have that to fall back on, I hope? Anyway, I’ll check back in with all of you in 2030 when no one can afford to drive because self driving cars are so safe that insurance for human driven cars is unaffordable.