The era of automation is bringing about some radical changes to the world we see around us, and nothing spells out changes in America such as robots replacing workers in a retail store we have all grown up with as part of our everyday lives- Walmart. According to a recent Fox Business story, robots will now start taking more and more responsibilities and tasks that used to be specifically for minimum wage employees.
This new robot friendly plan Walmart is rolling out shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that has been paying a little bit of attention to automation and economic trends domestically the last ten years specifically. With thousands of workers unions fighting for a artificially increased minimum wage standard which they can live on while performing low skilled labor, on top of the upgrades in technology bringing automation and artificial intelligence to a retail or fast food chain near you, no one should be shocked that Walmart would be at the forefront of automating jobs away in order to increase efficiency and productivity, while saving money at the exact same time in the process in order to keep customers and investors happy.
Walmart announced last week that in the United States they plan on unleashing 3,900 “autonomous machines” (aka robots) to fulfill jobs ranging from moving products to stocking shelves. The Fox report states that Walmart “sad after testing the new technologies, it realized that these smart assistants (Walmart is trying very hard to make it seem like these robots will be helping human workers instead of replacing them as many fear) have a huge potential to make their stores run more smoothly and it frees up their associates from doing more mundane and repetitive tasks like cleaning floors or checking inventory on shelves.”
Other than Walmart, robots are now even taking jobs from fast food delivery services. In January, George Mason University began using robots to deliver fast food to residential students across campus. According to the Verge, the food delivering robots created by Starship Technologies the “delivery bots can carry up to 20 pounds worth of goods, and they’ve been tested in various cities around the world over the last few years, often in partnerships with services like DoorDash or Postmates… robots are able to drive themselves on sidewalks, over curbs, and operate in rain or snow at night… they navigate around people and other objects thanks to cameras embedded around the robot’s exterior.”
So with the robots coming in to take low income, low skill jobs we take for granted, will this impact be for the betterment of humanity or leave us all feeling a bit less human in the process?
With robotic automation becoming more and more prevalent in our day to day lives, it would seem that it's only a matter of time before robots replace most repetitive jobs.
Do you support or oppose technological innovation?
— TopNewsGazette (@topnewsgazette) April 17, 2019
Source: Fox Business, The Verge