There’s a major disturbance in the force… the workforce, that is.
The factory job of old was once a normality in the American workforce and today most factory jobs are either 100% machine-run, with the exception of a few supervising employees, or at least more than half of them. It’s not yesterday’s news that this is happening…it’s practically ancient.
The assembly line was an obvious choice for machines to take over. There is less screw-ups and there were less employees to guarantee safety to; but today, today we have news stories coming out of California about a machine created by a San Francisco start-up company called Momentum Machines. It wishes to replace and automate the burger business. McDonald’s, Burger King, and any other big employer seeking to reduce their costs to the individual American’s wage.
The potential impact on employment is devastating. There are 3.6M fast food employees in America today and it is expected to rise to 3.8M by 2018. What does this mean in Layman’s terms? More than half of those places are “burger” places, and you’ve seen the meme with the self-checkout machine looking to replace the ‘whining’ minimum wage cashier. Three million employees could be unemployed in a blink of an eye if any of this machinery were to take off.
Luckily for us, they aren’t looking to do this in the next 3-4 years…but it’s coming. This will probably then seed other employers to find ways to rid their employee of their position for a more ‘reliable’ and less ‘whiney’ employee. Can you believe that robots can even write articles, give the normal statistical analysis, replace the local weatherman, and even drive you to your destination if you were to take a cab or Uber?
The employer isn’t sympathizing, even though they should. They are potentially ruining their customer base because there’ll no longer be people who can afford to eat their cheap meal because their job was no longer needed and was replaced by an automated service. I think it’s time for employers to start caring about their fellow man. If they can’t at least allow us to work for our food, our shelter, our practical dignity then our economy will be crap. I probably missed a few key points (like if customers will even accept their new robot waiter) but the tomorrow of automated service is not too far away. They’re coming.
They’re coming. Look out Sarah Connor, they aren’t here to kill you, they’re here to replace you.
(And yes, I did happen to choose to post this on “National Burger Day.”)