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Tue Feb 28, 2017, 11:45 AM

 

Wendy's is replacing its lowest-paid workers with robots

Citing concerns about the rising cost of labor, Wendy's President Todd Penegor told Investor's Business Daily (IBD) about plans to automate the ordering process in company restaurants. Employees who once took orders from customers will be replaced by self-service kiosks. Mobile ordering and payment apps will also cut down on employee hours.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.businessinsider.com/wendys-workers-will-lose-jobs-to-robots-2016-5

115 replies, 18033 views

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Reply Wendy's is replacing its lowest-paid workers with robots (Original post)
Ohioblue22 Feb 2017 OP
shenmue Feb 2017 #1
Renew Deal Feb 2017 #2
AngryAmish Feb 2017 #19
LanternWaste Feb 2017 #24
forgotmylogin Feb 2017 #83
BlueStateLib Feb 2017 #96
forgotmylogin Feb 2017 #97
TeamPooka Feb 2017 #99
Odoreida Feb 2017 #3
yallerdawg Feb 2017 #17
LakeVermilion Feb 2017 #4
safeinOhio Feb 2017 #6
snooper2 Feb 2017 #11
MineralMan Feb 2017 #16
Eliot Rosewater Feb 2017 #76
LisaM Feb 2017 #101
Bettie Feb 2017 #46
appleannie1943 Feb 2017 #5
brewens Feb 2017 #9
Amishman Feb 2017 #27
citood Feb 2017 #82
citood Feb 2017 #80
DeminPennswoods Feb 2017 #63
Luciferous Feb 2017 #75
angrychair Feb 2017 #7
unblock Feb 2017 #12
Ilsa Feb 2017 #25
unblock Feb 2017 #29
Bettie Feb 2017 #47
Ilsa Feb 2017 #55
TheFrenchRazor Feb 2017 #105
fescuerescue Feb 2017 #107
Initech Feb 2017 #8
snooper2 Feb 2017 #14
NCjack Feb 2017 #54
NCjack Feb 2017 #56
snooper2 Feb 2017 #58
NCjack Feb 2017 #61
progressoid Feb 2017 #94
KittyWampus Feb 2017 #10
HughBeaumont Feb 2017 #20
sarcasmo Feb 2017 #33
TheFrenchRazor Feb 2017 #106
MineralMan Feb 2017 #13
usedtobedemgurl Feb 2017 #34
MineralMan Feb 2017 #41
Johonny Feb 2017 #39
MineralMan Feb 2017 #48
Bettie Feb 2017 #50
MineralMan Feb 2017 #51
EllieBC Mar 2017 #113
MineralMan Mar 2017 #115
xor Feb 2017 #15
BannonsLiver Feb 2017 #98
HughBeaumont Feb 2017 #18
Grammy23 Feb 2017 #21
Blue_true Feb 2017 #71
Grammy23 Feb 2017 #92
MichMan Feb 2017 #102
citood Feb 2017 #85
Maraya1969 Feb 2017 #22
briv1016 Mar 2017 #112
democratisphere Feb 2017 #23
Freethinker65 Feb 2017 #26
Demsrule86 Feb 2017 #45
Blue_true Feb 2017 #72
citood Feb 2017 #87
get the red out Feb 2017 #28
Blue_true Feb 2017 #73
atreides1 Feb 2017 #30
sarcasmo Feb 2017 #31
Blue_true Feb 2017 #74
get the red out Feb 2017 #93
sarcasmo Feb 2017 #104
Jakes Progress Feb 2017 #32
Blue_true Feb 2017 #77
liberalhistorian Feb 2017 #35
UTUSN Feb 2017 #36
usedtobedemgurl Feb 2017 #37
BannonsLiver Feb 2017 #38
Demsrule86 Feb 2017 #43
BannonsLiver Feb 2017 #95
Laurian Feb 2017 #40
Buckeye_Democrat Mar 2017 #110
Demsrule86 Feb 2017 #42
Jake Stern Feb 2017 #44
Blue_true Feb 2017 #78
Locut0s Feb 2017 #84
yuiyoshida Feb 2017 #49
jimjc Feb 2017 #52
Orrex Feb 2017 #53
Jake Stern Feb 2017 #57
Orrex Feb 2017 #60
Blue_true Feb 2017 #86
Jake Stern Feb 2017 #91
snooper2 Feb 2017 #62
Orrex Feb 2017 #66
OldHippieChick Feb 2017 #59
DeminPennswoods Feb 2017 #64
Iggo Feb 2017 #65
HughBeaumont Feb 2017 #67
lame54 Feb 2017 #68
Dem2 Feb 2017 #69
egold2604 Feb 2017 #70
ymetca Feb 2017 #79
Locut0s Feb 2017 #81
Blue_true Feb 2017 #88
Locut0s Feb 2017 #90
Buns_of_Fire Feb 2017 #89
MichMan Feb 2017 #100
MichMan Feb 2017 #103
bravenak Mar 2017 #108
Name removed Mar 2017 #109
EllieBC Mar 2017 #111
MichMan Mar 2017 #114

Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 11:47 AM

1. How long until no one is human?

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 11:48 AM

2. Flashy headline, but a kiosk isn't really a robot

The way people think of robots

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:03 PM

19. ATM is a robot.

 

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:07 PM

24. 'Robot' fits well within the standard definition.

 

'Robot' fits well within the standard definition. That it may not appear as an android is irreverent.

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #24)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:32 PM

83. I think it's not a robot in the same sense that your cell phone is not a robot.

I could be wrong, but I think for a device to qualify as a "robot", it must be manipulating something physically in the real world. If they had machines flipping burgers and packaging them, those would be robots.

What they're doing is providing an ordering kiosk which is essentially a touch computer or tablet that sends the information to the line prep. It does the same thing that modern cash registers do, only in a public-friendly way. It's the same as retail stores that provide self-checkout. Those are not robots, they are big specialized computers with the same equipment the cashier uses. Someone always has to monitor them.

Self-checkout hasn't eliminated grocery store cashiers, it just provides an alternate way for people to get through the line. I'd much prefer to scan my own items when I don't have a lot. I'd also venture that any store is never going to be able to completely eliminate cashiers. There will always be breakdowns, there will always be people who don't want to mess with the "new fangled" thing, there will always be drive-thru, there will always need to be someone supervising and helping. Automation, in this case, is letting one employee supervise six self-cashier lanes so they are six times as productive.

Most fast food and pizza places now encourage you to order online using apps and websites. I'll never order food by phone again if I can help it.

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Response to forgotmylogin (Reply #83)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 04:52 PM

96. robot came from the Czech word robota, meaning "forced labor."

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Response to BlueStateLib (Reply #96)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 04:54 PM

97. A robot is a machine, but a machine is not necessarily a robot.

I'm not sure how much we can force labor on a non-sentient computer with some rollers and buttons.

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Response to forgotmylogin (Reply #97)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 05:36 PM

99. the word that should be used here is "Automation" for when machines replace humans in a process.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 11:51 AM

3. Too much drama caused by having humans in the mix, you know.

 

Next step, robots that consume hamburgers.

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Response to Odoreida (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:02 PM

17. Robots consume electricity.

We consume hamburgers, Coppertop!

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 11:51 AM

4. I'll have to be starving before I use a kiosk at Wendy's

I would certainly pay more for food, if they paid their workers a living wage.

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Response to LakeVermilion (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 11:54 AM

6. I'm with you.

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Response to LakeVermilion (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 11:57 AM

11. Do you print your boarding passes at a kiosk or always go up to an agent

 

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:02 PM

16. I either print mine at home or have it on my cell phone.

I travel with a carry-on only, so I don't need the counter at all. I get to go straight to the TSA checkpoint, where I get to interact with the people there to some degree or another, depending on the day and their moods.

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:12 PM

76. I do whatever I can to enhance labor whenever I can, but I am human and sometimes

i do the easy thing. So I guess not whenever, but I am a fallible human being.

Is the point of your question that this is inevitable or that we are hypocrites?

Would you personally rather see everybody replaced with robots if it make life more convenient for you?

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 06:21 PM

101. I print them at a kiosk because generally there's not another option.

I much preferred going to the gate and having them do it, but that option doesn't exist most places anymore.

I never do self-scan checkout if there is a person there. I'm not going to be the one costing the cashier her or his job.

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Response to LakeVermilion (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:47 PM

46. Me too

I don't mind paying more for food to ensure that workers are being paid fair wages.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 11:53 AM

5. I even refuse to use self checkouts. If a store does not think enough of me to

give me good friendly service by a human being, I will go somewhere that does. I don't have a communicable disease and refuse to be treated like I do. Dave would be ashamed of his daughter over this.

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Response to appleannie1943 (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 11:56 AM

9. Yup. Other chains will do the opposite and promote the friendly personal service and blow them

out of the water.

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Response to brewens (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:16 PM

27. I doubt it

kiosk ordering is more accurate and viewed favorably for fast food. Wawa and Sheetz have been kiosk ordering only for many years and have been hugely popular and successful.

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Response to Amishman (Reply #27)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:31 PM

82. I would love a kiosk at Qdoba/Chipotle

I have never gotten through the line without repeating my self. I try to only stay one ingredient ahead of them...but it doesn't matter. "I'll take a buritto with white rice"..."Ok, what type of rice do you want on it?".

Drives me crazy.

Imagine how smooth it wouod go with a kiosk.

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Response to brewens (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:25 PM

80. I actually doubt that

In the last few weeks I've paid particular attention to just how bad the customer service I receive is. Seems like every cashier I encounter has to interupt their gossip session when I walk up. Good customer service...or employees who provide it...are getting hard to find.

The local Subway has a kiosk at the drive through for ordering. I love it because it isn't distracted, doesn't forget the answer to questions it just asked me, and it never makes a mistake. Oh, and I can save my favorite order.

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Response to appleannie1943 (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:41 PM

63. About those self-serve checkouts

Have you noticed there's always at least 1 cashier there to help people who either don't know what they're doing or mess up somehow? I went through one at the local grocery store a couple days ago (usually I go through a regular cashier) and ended up chatting with a couple of the cashiers overseeing the self-serve lines. I mentioned that it's faster to go through a regular line because most people going through the self-serve line are just naturally slower because it's not something they do 8 hours/day. The cashiers said the self-serve line averaged about 5 items/minutes as opposed to 15+ items/minute the cashiers do. The funny thing was when I looked up after finishing scanning and paying for my few items, the line I was avoiding was nearly gone.

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Response to appleannie1943 (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:09 PM

75. I actually don't mind using them if I only have a few items. Half the time they only have a couple

cashier lines open at the store anyway...

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 11:54 AM

7. Ok

So are those savings being passed on to their customers? I seriously doubt it.

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Response to angrychair (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 11:59 AM

12. actually, i'm pretty confident some of those savings would indeed be passed on to customers.

my guess would be around $0.03 out of every dollar saved.

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Response to unblock (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:10 PM

25. You think the owners will order new price menus?

I think it's all about pocketing the difference, not reducing the amount charged. Reducing gross Sales will raise eyebrows of bankers and analysts.

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Response to Ilsa (Reply #25)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:20 PM

29. no, it's an average, over time.

of course they're not going to explicitly lower prices of all menu items by $0.03.

but they might delay price increases and/or lower prices of just a few items, quite possibly to coincide with a marketing blitz.

their overall sales would increase as volume increases. presumably slightly lower prices combined with the "efficiency" of self-ordering would increase throughput and overall sales volume.

and, of course, profit.


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Response to unblock (Reply #29)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:50 PM

47. Actually, what will probably happen

Is that there will be an immediate price increase to cover the cost of the new kiosks.

That will be high enough per item to ensure that their profits go up beyond the cost of labor and that they can wait a year or so to raise prices further, while declaring that they are giving "better service".

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Response to unblock (Reply #29)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:09 PM

55. I think they'll raise prices again, as much as the market will bear,

As soon as it becomes feasible, without factoring in this savings "gift" to consumers. This is a gift to stockholders and a bonus to executives.

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Response to unblock (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 07:07 PM

105. i think you've overestimated it a bit. nt

 

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Response to angrychair (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 08:15 PM

107. They will do what they always do.

Charge as much as the market will bear.
And reduce costs as much as possible.

If all the fast food companies adopt this, the reduced costs will mean some chain will reduce prices as a competitive advantage, in turn the other chains will reduce costs as well.

Bottom line, SOME of the costs will be passed onto consumers - eventually, but ALL the costs will be borne by the workers who lose their jobs as a result.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 11:55 AM

8. What happens when those machines need to be maintained? Who will maintain them?

And what happens when no one has any money to buy their shitty food?

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Response to Initech (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:00 PM

14. the kiosk repairman

 

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #14)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:07 PM

54. The kiosk robot will be repaired by the kiosk robot repair robot.

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Response to NCjack (Reply #54)


Response to NCjack (Reply #56)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:23 PM

58. LOL- I can't tell if this is serious or not

 

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #58)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:24 PM

61. Misfire. Removing. Thanks.

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Response to Initech (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 04:35 PM

94. Robots wont just take jobs, theyll create them

https://techcrunch.com/2016/05/13/robots-wont-just-take-jobs-theyll-create-them/


While technology advances at an unprecedented rate, our era is not the first to undergo significant technological change. From the invention of the wheel to Gutenberg’s printing press, humans have innovated and adapted to new technologies throughout history. And for just as long, there have been concerns about how new technologies would affect laborers.

In each case, these technologies led to new industries and jobs. The invention of the printing press in 1440 allowed the mass production of books, leading to jobs to manufacture books, transport them, market them and sell them. Print shops sprung up. The fall in printing costs led to newspapers. Yes, the printing press put scribes out of business, but new jobs were soon developed to take their place.

... ...

New jobs will be created in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields like nanotechnology and robotics. A 2011 study found that one million industrial robots directly created nearly three million jobs. Of the six countries examined in the study, five saw their unemployment rates go down as the number of robots used went up.

This study showed job creation will extend beyond the STEM fields. The authors identified six industries where employment was likely to increase directly because of robots: automotive, electronics, renewable energy, skilled systems, robotics and food and beverage. Not everyone will need to be an engineer to find jobs created by robots.

We do not need to become modern Luddites, afraid of losing our work and place in society to robots. Rather, we can welcome them, knowing they will make our lives easier, as technology always does, and knowing that by their very existence, they will create new jobs.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 11:57 AM

10. Automation should mean that larger corporations need to start profit-sharing

 

with the rest of society.

Half of the shares owned by individual stock holders and half by the public.

And thus, citizens get dividends from all the larger corporations.

Only way to keep society from falling apart.

Profit-sharing.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:04 PM

20. That's actually a good idea . . . .

. . . if we didn't have a government that insisted on solving everything with Bronze-age mythology and 20th-century Dead Reagan boilerplate.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:24 PM

33. Universal Income.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 07:09 PM

106. ideally, *all* corporations would have a fair distribution of profits, but so far, that idea

 

does not seem to be catching on. it's "communist," don't you know.... just kidding.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:00 PM

13. I haven't encountered any of those "order bots."

While they do have the potential to eliminate jobs, they also might help eliminate ordering mistakes, which are fairly common in fast food joints. They might also eliminate interactions with sullen teenagers who are taking orders.

Last time I went to Burger King, I ordered a Whopper Jr. (no cheese, thanks) and onion rings (there are no rings of onions in those). When I got to my car with the bag, there was a fish sandwich in the bag, instead. I considered going back in to get what I had ordered, but I like their BK Big Fish OK, so I ate it. The ersatz onion rings were in the bag, too, so someone just pushed the wrong button on the cash register, I guess.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:25 PM

34. Can you say, with a hundred percent accuracy....

that the mistake was caused by the person keying it in? And if customers key it in do you think they never make mistakes?

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Response to usedtobedemgurl (Reply #34)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:42 PM

41. I can't really say anything with 100% accuracy.

I ordered one thing and got another. My response was to eat the thing I got. As for how the mistaken order was placed, I've seen the BK touch screens. Since pressing an item gets it on the order ticket and sends it to the display board where the orders are assembled, I'd guess that the wrong item was pressed. Of course, it could have been an error by the person assembling and bagging the order.

It doesn't really matter, though, does it. I got something I didn't order, but ate it anyhow, since I also like that item OK, too. The key to fast food is the word "fast." I was grabbing lunch. Had I gone back inside and gotten what I originally ordered, it wouldn't have been the fast food I wanted. So, I ate the BK Big Fish sandwich. They're good, too, although that day I had ordered a Whopper Jr.

I still got the fast food I wanted and went on with my day. No big deal. Now, had they given me a Whopper rather than a Whopper, Jr., that would have been more to eat than I actually wanted, so I probably wouldn't have finished it.

As for my making a mistake on a touch screen ordering system, that's certainly a possibility. The result, however, would probably be the same, I'd probably eat whatever was in the bag, since I'd be looking for fast food. I can eat anything on the BK menu just fine. The point is to grab some lunch, actually.

I hope my explanation was adequate.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:33 PM

39. My general experience has been

It is faster and more efficient to just tell someone what I want then trying to surf their ordering screen to figure out how to order what I want. I imagine with experience I might become as efficient as the person that does it over and over again as their job, but my experience at a few restaurants and the post office that have these systems has been to ignore the machine and try to talk to a person. I know what I want and they know how to key it in. When I do it myself, I either can't figure out how to get what I want or what I want isn't even in the system because the most common orders are the inputs.

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Response to Johonny (Reply #39)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:51 PM

48. That's true. However, after I use one of those systems once,

it's pretty efficient for me. I do use the self-check facilities at some places, especially if I have just a few items or the lines at the normal check-out lanes are long. The first time I use a new one, I read the prompts and it takes a little longer, but I remember things like that, so if I return to that store, I can do it automatically without bothering to read the prompts.

I remember one time using a self-check station at a store I frequently visit. I noticed when I did that the voice prompts were in Spanish. That didn't slow me down, though, since I speak Spanish, too. That store also offers Hmong as a choice. If I encountered that, though, I know the system there well enough to just continue with my transaction.

I frequently use the self-check at Home Depot, as well. Often, I've just run in there for a single item, and the lines are usually longer than I want to wait. So, I dash in, self-check and dash out to finish whatever job that caused me to need that forgotten item.

At Target, I never use the self-check, because I normally buy a cartload of items on a visit. Then, the checkout line is faster and the nice person at the cash register bags the stuff for me.

It all just depends. I tend to do what's convenient for me and what saves my time. I make a choice each time.

But, here's something I've never quite understood. Someone will come into a fast food place and stand there looking at the big, colorful menu board for a very long time and then order the thing they always order anyhow. That drives me batty if I'm standing behind them. Three minutes of staring that that board and they end up ordering the #2 meal, just like they did the last time they were there. Very puzzling.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:53 PM

50. Someone probably grabbed the wrong bag

Happens sometimes.

So, until you can get a machine that will take your order, prepare your food, and then deliver it to you, without any human being involved, you'll encounter errors sometimes.

I'd rather deal with a mistake once in a while, than never interact with a human.

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Response to Bettie (Reply #50)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:55 PM

51. Possibly, but the order had my value menu onion rings in it.

That's not such a common item. Could be a miss-key on the order-taker's part or a miss-bag error at the bagging station. In the end, it didn't matter anyhow, since I like the fish sandwich OK.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #13)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 12:41 AM

113. Lol about the onion rings.

A friend of mine only like onion rings from Burger King because they don't have much onion in them she says.

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Response to EllieBC (Reply #113)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 09:08 AM

115. That's really funny!

She's right, of course. Not much onion in them. Tiny bits mixed in with the batter. Onion powder, too, I imagine. While I prefer real onion rings, the BK ones are OK for a snack.

Oddly enough, my favorite onion things are the onion chips from White Castle. I hate everything else at White Castle, though, so I rarely have their excellent onion chips.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:01 PM

15. I've seen these popup every so often at various fast food places

They never seem to have stuck around, though.

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Response to xor (Reply #15)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 04:57 PM

98. They seem to be popular in Europe

The Europeans do pretty much everything better than we do in the US.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:02 PM

18. "THIS IS PROGRESS! Don't blame Capitalism, Republicans or Rich People! They're Your HEROES!"

"Stop being complacent and pull yourselves up by your bootstraps, you lazy ungrateful fuckers! Study more and more and more and take 2nd and 3rd mortgages on your houses to go back to school again and again and again until you have two or three PhDs!

After all, it's Capitalism, it absolutely cannot be changed in ANY way, and if its amazing and exciting technologies put you out of a job, it's your OWN GODDAMNED FAULT BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!! Oh, and we're getting rid of the social safety net, so your only option is to starve and die under a bridge. Oh, and keep putting us in office because Make America Grate Again, Democrats are Godless communists, Republicans are Jesus and Apple Pie, or something . . . "

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:05 PM

21. My husband has been buying ice for the cooler for quite a while from

a free standing trailer that has a place to load your money and a platform for your bag or cooler to hold the ice. The owner of this ice house comes by periodically to collect the money and restock the supplies, but otherwise it is completely without employees. The price for ice from this vending operation is the cheapest place near us. Located in the parking lot of a small retail area, he can drive up, load the ice and be on his way in 5 minutes.

You never hear the so-called labor experts talk about simple facts. Our advances in technology have made some types of work obsolete. The guys who made buggy whips had to find a different way to use their skills to make a living when buggies pulled by horses were replaced with motor driven vehicles. The same thing is happening now. Welcome to the 21st Century because we're not going back.

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Response to Grammy23 (Reply #21)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 02:52 PM

71. The problem is soon robots and artificial intelligence will replace

around 85% of workers (within the next 20 years). At that point, what happens to people that have no jobs (85% of the workforce)? I see the effects of robots and artificial intelligence taking jobs now - people who used to work as bank tellers and customer service agents are being pushed into lower paying jobs or onto unemployment, I am seeing more and more able bodied young people walking around during the day, idle. I had a clear headed young guy ask me for money for dinner last week and whether I knew someone who was hiring, I gave him money and directed him to the state employment office that find jobs for manual laborer's and professionals.

Robots, automation and artificial intelligence have the world at a point totally unseen in history. The industrial revolution, the advent of the assembly line and automobiles created relatively broad wealth when coupled with the origin of unions. Modern technology is tending to concentrate wealth and employment into a smaller and smaller segment of the world's population, that is not good for societies.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #71)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 04:04 PM

92. Can't disagree with your prediction of the future based on current trends.

But we won't be going back so cooler heads from a variety of disciplines need to work on this issue. We will need to rethink how we educate our young people and help prepare them for a world of employment different than what exists today.

The handwriting is on the wall. Every day we read or hear of more tasks being automated. Even our lives at home have been radically changed with machines to do cleaning and other chores that took a lot of time and energy in the past. Longing for a time when anyone with even minimal skills and a willingness to work could find employment is natural. I hope that those with fresh ideas for how we can find new ways to have employment for all who need to work can be developed quickly. I have three grandchildren ages 19, 16 and 12 and I want them to inherit a world that has a place for them that allows for hopes and dreams of a good life.

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Response to Grammy23 (Reply #92)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 06:26 PM

102. If your grandchildren become proficient in automation they will have a good life

Appears to me that anyone with the skills and knowledge to engineer, design, program, repair and maintain automated equipment will earn a very good living and will have their choice of positions.

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Response to Grammy23 (Reply #21)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:35 PM

85. I used to have a job bagging ice. Endless hours bagging and tying.

Then one day years later I was walking through a store, and I saw movement in the ice cooler. The thing was bagging its own ice. Didn't seek fair for some reason. Oh well - progress.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:06 PM

22. People need to get out of their cars, go inside and demand a manager take their order

The more Hell you can create with a situation like this the better

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Response to Maraya1969 (Reply #22)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 12:41 AM

112. I don't think this applies to the drive-through, yet.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:12 PM

26. They will lose some technophobes, like my parents, that love their chili and frosties

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Response to Freethinker65 (Reply #26)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:45 PM

45. I love Tech but hate greedy bastards who think robots should replace people.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #45)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:02 PM

72. Look, robots WILL replace people, that simply is going to happen.

Our challenge and the challenge of leaders and wise businesspeople is to figure out how to form an equitable post workforce society where no one is destitute. We are not going to stop the March of smart machines, trying to do so is tilting at windmills and wasting intellectual energy that is better spent figuring out how the best smart machine dominated society works best for all human beings and leaves no one behind.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #45)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:42 PM

87. When I was young...

...My mom would drag me into the bank lobby to make a deposit. Now that's self serve.

...Somebody would pump our gas. Now that's self serve.

...I bought airline tickets through a travel agent. Now that's self serve.

Its a changing world.

Long before my time, grocery shopping consisted of handing a list to a clerk and waiting to pay. Now we grab our own items off the shelf. Although some grocery stores have brought it full circle and they'll now do the shopping for you.


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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:18 PM

28. There goes ANY CHANCE

Of ever getting a burger without cheese, ever again.

Fuck Wendy's

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Response to get the red out (Reply #28)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:04 PM

73. A properly designed intelligent interface will give you endless options for a burger. nt

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:22 PM

30. Wait!!!

Are those Mexican robots, or Chinese????

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:23 PM

31. Universal income is needed now, not in 10 or 20 years.

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Response to sarcasmo (Reply #31)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:06 PM

74. Yes, leaders must start beta efforts on that now.

And rich people need to support those efforts if they plan on their kids being safe in a machine dominated society.

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Response to sarcasmo (Reply #31)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 04:05 PM

93. Either that

or just "eliminate people". There is no other route.

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Response to get the red out (Reply #93)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 07:02 PM

104. Exactly.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:24 PM

32. Wish I could boycott them.

But I haven't been to one is over a decade. Yucky stuff.

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Response to Jakes Progress (Reply #32)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:18 PM

77. As smart machines take over more jobs, well financed food corporations

will continuously become the only choice as small, owner operated eateries are forced out of business. Rents and real estate is so expensive in cities and big suburbs that only well financed or long established, we'll run eating places can operate, small eateries are being forced out of business. Wendy's will do their kiosks, but so will their big, well financed competition.

I have a suggestion to everyone. The next time you eat at it take catering from a small eatery, DO NOT demand or even suggest that you get a discount for a large order or repeat business. If you talk to those small owners, you would see that their margins are thin to nonexistent, in particular if they have been in business for only months or a few years and are trying to get a customer flow established. Getting a 10% discount on a catering order may make you look smart at the office, but you would have damaged that business owner and his or her employees. Focus instead on whether the price is reasonable for the food quality.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:25 PM

35. So I have another yet another

reason not to go to Wendy's, never mind that I hardly see any of them around anymore. I try not to patronize places that don't support and value their employees and that put corporate profit and exorbitant executive salaries and perks ahead of paying employees decent wages.

And if more and more companies do this, just how do they expect people will have the money to buy their products and services? When are employers going to learn that the better they pay and value employees, the more discretionary money people will have to give them their business? It's basic economics.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:26 PM

36. Yip, Wendy's was also one of the only chains breaking the unionized labor in Florida, buying

their tomatoes from the gigantic human torturers in Mexico.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:26 PM

37. But I thought Don the Con was going to bring back jobs...

Is he now calling for negotiations with Wendy's?

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:28 PM

38. Some McDonalds in Europe have them

They are very efficient.

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Response to BannonsLiver (Reply #38)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:43 PM

43. I am not buying food from robots...these greedy bastards can kiss my derriere.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #43)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 04:41 PM

95. I hope you don't use ATM's. Same principle.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:39 PM

40. The quality of Wendy's food has declined to the point where I

just don't go there anymore. The last time I went there about a year ago, I decided not to go back. I'm from Ohio and remember when Wendy's started. Their burgers, chili and frosties were good then. Now, the burgers seem steamed and the chili recipe has changed a lot. Yuck.

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Response to Laurian (Reply #40)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 12:28 AM

110. I agree!

Not to mention that every hamburger bun from Wendy's seems STALE now! Meanwhile, their prices seemed to have increased faster than other fast food chains.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:42 PM

42. Another reason to avoid Wendy's...besides their shitty food.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:45 PM

44. That's progress, baby!

Yippie! Let's celebrate the loss of jobs because it means that smarmy teenage cashier won't eff up your burger order anymore and you save a few cents!

Do I really have to put the sarcasm smilie?

I recall a time when Democrats used to be in support of creating jobs instead of cheering on automation and the loss of the human element.


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Response to Jake Stern (Reply #44)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:22 PM

78. Smart machine use will only grow. We need to start a discussion

about guaranteed income and everyone's responsibility in a society where every adult has guaranteed, livable income, whether they have a job or not.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #78)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:32 PM

84. Yes this very much! Nt.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:52 PM

49. Well YOU KNOW THIS WILL WORK OUT!!

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:00 PM

52. F--k wendys

 

Stick it wendys, I think you have shit for hamburgers anyway!

Dems better start getting together and start talking with their dollars.

Any company that doesn't do what we want loses our dollars, that could change things
of coarse that's if Dems would do something that really helps us, that's the question,
history proves Dems always quit, that's the reason why rebooblicons are winning

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:02 PM

53. Fools who oppose an increased minimum wage ALWAYS cite this kind of thing

"If we raised the minimum wage above starvation levels, business owners will replace us with robots!"


The foolish part of this complaint is that, in general, business owners would replace every single worker with a robot if they could manage it. The idea that minimum wage is driving this trend is an absurd attack on people of lower income, and every cheerleader who recites that doom-and-gloom propaganda is helping to fracture the working class for the benefit of the owner class.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #53)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:19 PM

57. Or they say fast food workers are just teenagers who don't deserve more than minimum wage

EXCEPT most of the crew at my local McD are 25-60ish. I know one who is a 28 year old single mom trying to support herself and her daughter.

These are the people being replaced by these kiosks, not just pimply faced 15 year olds working for the summer and this is why I get so aggravated when I see cheerleading for automation here on DU.

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Response to Jake Stern (Reply #57)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:23 PM

60. Exactly correct

I've had this argument several times in the past week on my community's FB page, and the Trump-voting assholes all make the same claim, that these are summer jobs for kids.

They're incredibly stupid about it, because we live in a town with a median household income of about $26K, and that's skewed high because a lot of doctors live in town.

Yet these low wage defenders of the billionaire in the Whitehouse will trip over themselves in their zeal to fight any push for a livable wage.

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Response to Jake Stern (Reply #57)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:35 PM

86. I realize that automation is coming, I am a technologist, if I can have a machine

do a job that humans do, I will have the machine do the job simply because it can operate longer and mistake free.

But, I also recognize that automation will dramatically alter society, and not all for the better. We need to start a discussion on guaranteed, livable income for every adult and every family NOW!!! Rich people and companies need to understand that their futures and the futures if their children are in danger if smart machines willy nilly replace people without those people having resources to live a decent life afterward.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #86)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 04:02 PM

91. I'm not a Luddite by any stretch but I still prefer interacting with a human.

On the second point: Realistically, what are the chances of a guaranteed income happening anytime soon?

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Response to Orrex (Reply #53)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:30 PM

62. They are going to be everywhere anyway

 

I use one all the time right down from my work at Quick Trip



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Response to snooper2 (Reply #62)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:52 PM

66. Sheetz is a convenience chain in Pennsylvania

They use a kiosk ordering system for drinks and food, which are in turn prepared by people.

There was some local push-back when they moved to this model, but honestly they were doing essentially the same thing since at least the mid-80s. At that time you filled out a pre-printed order tickets and fed it through a slot, and the workers made the food from those tickets. Exactly the same process, except that today we tap a screen instead of checking a box on a paper ticket.

As you correctly note: They are going to be everywhere anyway.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:23 PM

59. This is actually a good reason to

frequent your locally owned diner or café. Their food is better, fresher and always served by humans. Not to mention helping the local economy and not a corporate giant.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:44 PM

64. Waiting for the return of the Automat!

Absolutely the coolest restaurant ever.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:50 PM

65. A couple of years ago they tried that at the Jack In The Box that I go to.

It failed.

People walked right past the machine and stood at the counter until someone took their order.

When the manager asked me why I didn't key in my own order, I told him it's because I don't work at Jack In The Box.

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Response to Iggo (Reply #65)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:52 PM

67. NICE one.

Stealing that like corporations steal production gains.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:56 PM

68. "Your children are in the custody of Carl's Jr."

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 02:03 PM

69. Funny

If they weren't talking to wingnut IBD and complaining about labor costs, this would be just another company trying out an interface that most tech-savvy people would see as a natural progression. Whining about labor costs annoys me to the point of not wanting to eat there. Dumb move.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 02:09 PM

70. eventually, no one will be able to afford Wendy's because they do not have jobs

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:24 PM

79. We should replace Congress with robots

as they'd certainly tabulate our votes better...

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:29 PM

81. I'm of 2 minds about automation. Overall our society is far better off now because of it...

During the industrial revolution many many of the jobs that people did were dangerous, back breaking and poorly paid. Indeed basically slave labour. Child labour was heavily utilised.

Even if they had been properly compensated the jobs would still have been hell. Most of those jobs were automated away. The immediate results was not good. People were thrown out of work. Lost a livelihood. Long term though automation has removed a hell of a lot of the drudge work that used to constitute a majority of people's lives. A lot of those jobs have been replaced with service industry and tech jobs that didn't exist before.

Now more of those jobs at the lower end are being automated. Again the immediate results is not good. I feel that if companies are to do this, they owe said employees retraining, the offer of better jobs. I know they don't give a flying fuck about the people though so I know that will not happen. Which is why I too hate to see this. People suffer. But long term over the span of decades, generations, I see it not only as inevitable but usually it has been a net positive for society.

The question should be how do we do this humanely.

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Response to Locut0s (Reply #81)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:48 PM

88. At some point, increased use of smart machines will cause gigantic social disruption

if models on how humans of all types thrive in a smart machine driven economy are not developed starting now. This from a trained and experienced engineer who views smart machines positively.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #88)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:58 PM

90. Agreed we need to plan for this. A universal income would go a long way...

Advances in artificial intelligence are taking place at a scary rate. Take a look at Google Deep mind and the kinds of things that deep neural networks can now do. We need to start to rethink how our societies are structured.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:57 PM

89. Never tick off the robot that prepares your food.

You might wind up with a surreptitious squirt or two of 3-In-1 Oil on your chicken parts with honey mustard dipping sauce.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 06:15 PM

100. While labor savings provide justification for installing such devices, they are not the only reason

There are large number of people (especially millennials) that prefer ordering items through phone apps, tablets and kiosks rather than interacting with people. I would expect that trend to be accelerated in the next several years.

For businesses that don't have a steady flow of customers (like restaurants) it would also be a lot easier to accommodate busy periods without having cashiers working a handful of part time hours just during lunch and dinner periods.



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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 06:39 PM

103. Seems like some great career opportunities will be available

Based on many of the comments here, it seems obvious that there are fantastic opportunities in the future for people that can engineer, design, program, maintain and repair automation. You would earn a great living with many opportunities for a career.

Many of these would require a 4 year degree and others would fall in the skilled trades category.

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 12:18 AM

108. We can always just not eat there

 

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Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)


Response to Ohioblue22 (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 12:38 AM

111. Why was no one this upset over self check out or ATMs?

Automation put plenty of bank tellers (the lowest paid position in a bank) and cashiers out of work.

Instead I see plenty of people happily using ATMs and self checkout.

So are some low wage jobs more sacred than others?

On edit, I don't think automation is always a bad thing at all. I just don't understand why some people are so much more upset over this than other forms of automation.

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Response to EllieBC (Reply #111)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 07:56 AM

114. it would appear so....

Why aren't people demanding paper paychecks, so they can still all line up in the bank on Friday afternoons to cash them?

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