Would you like machine oil on those fries? Robots replacing workers has been around since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. But, each new generation seems to have a different spin on an age old change. Could we seriously be moving into an age of Idiocracy? What is happening now?
Everywhere, $15 seems to be the new minimum wage on the horizon. In an age where the simple life is becoming more and more dependent on required necessities, the working class can’t afford the simpler pleasures like health insurance or keeping your car running. Granted, the simpler things now include a cell phone that is smarter than we are and is now required in a society where someone may need to get ahold of us at anytime. Just wait for it. Soon, there will be phone charger outlets in the bathroom stalls. Excuse me while I flush…
With automation costing less and less every time we turn around, we are making it cheaper for businesses to employ the silicon based life forms known as robots. We’ve seen it over the years with most electronics. Blue Ray players are now a tenth of what they cost when they first came out. The cost of using automation is dropping while the cost of human service is rising. In a world of fast food and cranky customers who don’t get their lattes quickly and correctly, we are left with the more efficient (?) mechanical worker who never makes a mistake. Yeah, right. My computer always works like it is supposed to. Doesn’t yours?
Workers are less cost efficient than robots anymore. For the same or lesser price, we can have the job done without having to schedule for vacations. Robots do not get hurt (though they do break down). Fixing a broken robot is less expensive than health care for the human body. Robots do not complain about wanting better working conditions though they can squeak if not oiled on time. I suppose the same thing can be said about human workers. But, would you rather listen to a human complain about something that won’t change or order a maintenance tech to come out to fix the problem for you? We humans are just too complicated for the simpler tasks in life. We need complicated things that are easier to screw up.
We saw it in “Star Trek” years ago. Push a button and your food comes out steaming hot and fresh. All it took was artificial ingredients or building blocks from the molecular level to create that naturally smelling hot muffin just like mom used to make in her push button kitchen when you were growing up. Now, we can look forward to being able to order by button and expecting it to be served almost instantaneously. What can be faster than that? This will make McDonald’s seem like a fine dining restaurant where you actually have to wait for your human servers to prepare it before you can eat. How impatient can we become?
All in all, we are living in a world where not only is our thinking being done for us, we are letting those who do not think — do the thinking. Why aren’t we getting these to replace our politicians?