robot workers in fast food

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Forge.
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robot workers in fast food

Post by Forge. » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:29 am

one or two of you might remember me talking about Marshall Brain's (founder of HowStuffWorks.com) book Manna talking about how robots will start to replace humans in fast food, then eventually everything.

well, maybe it will be even sooner than he predicted:

http://mynorthwest.com/920/2312665/Why- ... nimum-wage

This is possibly a bigger deal than most of us realize.

Brain sees 2 possibilities, a horrible dystopian one in America where the centralized systems keep tab on workers until they have profiled the workers so that they know exactly how long they take to do things, eventually leading to a situation where only the fastest (youngest) are employable for less than minimum wage.

Or a utopian future, which he set in Australia, where tracts of land were bought up by an open source software developer and people could buy a share into a society where everyone had everything and robots served people.

It's a short book and worth a read just for the ideas it provokes.

I think one thing is probably quite sure and that is that we're at a kind of threshold point. After discovering all the NSA stuff, will we start to see a backlash and the creation of an under-net? What will millions of people do if they no longer have any kind of work because it's all done either by robots or only by teenagers who can do the work quickest? Will there be massive revolutions? Will a black economy grow where people start to use barter more, or will things like Bit coin continue to grow?

andydes
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Re: robot workers in fast food

Post by andydes » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:58 am

Ah the age of automation. Took a little longer than we were led to believe (especially those of us who watched tomorrow's world), but now it seems it really is just round the corner. Production (not music) was obviously the first step, but robots were only cost effective in some cases. They are now becoming much more general purpose. Online shopping is becoming the norm even for groceries. Driverless vehicles are almost ready.

People used to say that the future would mean everyone working part time and retiring earlier. I guess they thought we'd all benefit from no one having to do unskilled or semi skilled jobs.

What a joke. It's obvious what the future holds if we don't rethink how our world works.

Mass unemployment.

Forge.
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Re: robot workers in fast food

Post by Forge. » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:31 am

well this is what I've been wondering. It's funny, almost psychically after I'd posted this my son as we were driving home said "I just had this amazing idea, what if you could have a restaurant where the meal was on thie conveyerbelt and you just order on a screen and you wouldn't even need any waiters any more". I said to him "but what about all the waiters who wouldn't have jobs any more?" and he said "well there'd be more jobs in making the robots", then I explained that it wouldn't be long before the robots could just be made with other robots.

At that point he started saying "surely there's not people that are that evil that they would make it so that everybody would die because they don't have any jobs to make money to eat any more?"

I felt proud. I've taught him well. But sad at the same time that at the moment he still thinks the world is great and one day he will realise that, yes, there actually are people that evil...

okay, maybe not so much "evil" as just totally self centered.

Well, actually where my optimism shines through is that there seems to be so many people waking up to this now. I can actually see a situation where we end up with a completely separate society that we run ourselves
Last edited by Forge. on Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

glenn303
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Re: robot workers in fast food

Post by glenn303 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:36 am

The true Iron Chief.
At least people wont have to worry about employees spitting in their food. :lol:

jestermgee
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Re: robot workers in fast food

Post by jestermgee » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:23 pm

What about the "self checkouts" at supermarkets?

Not sure about the rest of the world but they are springing up everywhere here. You do your own shopping, then check your own shit out and there are like 6 of these with just 1 person overseeing the whole operation replacing 6 jobs basically.

Not only that, you then loose any contact with an actual person. This may be good in some ways but doesn't anyone else get a disturbing feeling that even though the population is growing and communications are widening through social media, we are actually becoming less and less connected personally? I'm only 31 and I feel that the new generations will be detatched from people and attached to machines.

Forge.
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Re: robot workers in fast food

Post by Forge. » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:29 pm

yeah appearing everywhere here too

they can be quite infuriating, but so are those phone systems, and that hasn't stopped them appearing everywhere

ultimately the money saving option will win

and I guess that was the point of the article above - to start with it's just early adopters, then the cost side of it becomes so attractive others start to do it... and so on

I'm not personally really sure it will take over... I mean there will always be appeal to local cafes, fruit/veg etc, in fact I guess that was part of my point here - I'm wondering if that kind of thing —alternative markets—will grow more and more

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Re: robot workers in fast food

Post by pepezabala » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:38 pm

all the workers replaced by robots will work on something else. Vintage or custom made products mostly.

It's good that mass production gets automatized.

There will always be work. There will always be money. That's how it rolls.

Forge.
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Re: robot workers in fast food

Post by Forge. » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:50 pm

pepezabala wrote:all the workers replaced by robots will work on something else. Vintage or custom made products mostly.
.
Actually, yes that's something I always think in futuristic movies - they always make it really plastic and pristine, but never seem to take into consideration people's taste, and the fact that we don't want everything to be plastic and pristine. We tend to like certain old things that have character.

andydes
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Re: robot workers in fast food

Post by andydes » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:00 pm

Forge. wrote:
pepezabala wrote:all the workers replaced by robots will work on something else. Vintage or custom made products mostly.
.
Actually, yes that's something I always think in futuristic movies - they always make it really plastic and pristine, but never seem to take into consideration people's taste, and the fact that we don't want everything to be plastic and pristine. We tend to like certain old things that have character.
I like the futurist look. Thought about getting an egg chair, but they're a bit pricey. Of course that is vintage now.

Forge.
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Re: robot workers in fast food

Post by Forge. » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:10 pm

andydes wrote:
Forge. wrote:
pepezabala wrote:all the workers replaced by robots will work on something else. Vintage or custom made products mostly.
.
Actually, yes that's something I always think in futuristic movies - they always make it really plastic and pristine, but never seem to take into consideration people's taste, and the fact that we don't want everything to be plastic and pristine. We tend to like certain old things that have character.
I like the futurist look. Thought about getting an egg chair, but they're a bit pricey. Of course that is vintage now.
I do too sometimes, but it tends to get mixed in with all kinds of other stuff too...

Actually I re-watched woody allen's sleeper recently and that was proper 1973 futurism :D

Mint Invader
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Re: robot workers in fast food

Post by Mint Invader » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:03 pm

Image
Because Whatever.



oblique strategies
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Re: robot workers in fast food

Post by oblique strategies » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:20 am

Funk N. Furter wrote:workers are cheaper than robots.
This is true.

However...

"One of the major reasons, after all, that companies are outsourcing their operations to Asia is for the labor costs. If those labor costs can be obviated by greater automation, then other considerations come into play. After all, America and Europe are still where most of the customers are, and with the price of oil on the rise, cheaper transportation costs might come into the mix. Moreover, with both Europe and the United States teetering on the brink of another double-dip recession, policies geared towards bringing manufacturing home via tax incentives and other measures are more likely to become law.

To be sure, automated factories aren’t going to employ nearly as many people as traditional assembly line operations, but they will bring jobs back to the West. It’ll be interesting to see if FoxConn and other manufacturers can cope with that issue and continue with their outsourcing operations."
~Forbes, 2011
http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2 ... ree-years/

"cheap robot labor makes Western countries more attractive to locate factories to, because there are more educated workers and a better infrastructure for high tech."
~Forbes, 2011
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... ent=safari

Styles Bitchly
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Re: robot workers in fast food

Post by Styles Bitchly » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:12 pm

Robots working the Drive-Thru? Say it ain't so. :cry: I've been harvesting a steady supply of Plain-Jane "relationships" from every Fast-Food joint within a 20 mile radius for the past 15 years or so. I'm not so sure about how amenable I'd be to cold titanium plumbing not to mention a cyberchick that's even remotely "logical". :mrgreen:

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