Robots, oh no!

“I learned you have to move fast, writing futuristic satire in America: Before you know it, you’re a realist!”
Jennifer Egan

Robots, oh no!

The idea of robots is not only the huge mechanical arm that can build a car. It is also automation. There are ideas and pretty sure ideas that software using al·go·rithms will replace a lot of lawyers and doctors.

And, there is always the fear. How will I find work? Big machines are great but what happens when the operator is replaced. You get this feeling that big corporations are going to push automation so that labor is cheap or not needed at all.

We look at it like a giant wave what will soon sweep over our country and planet. You can’t stop a tidal wave.

But my question is this:

As an example, what if McDonalds, Wendys, Burger King, Lottaburger and the others all went automated. Super clean environment, identical burgers for each franchise, exactly twenty-three french fries every time and an iced cold Coca-Cola; you drive up and ask for your order and face recognition takes it automatically from your account.

But what if the people decide that it is too expensive or that it is better to eat at home? A lot of people need to watch their pennies and eating out is the first thing looked at. Imagine franchises falling left and right.

There are thousands of colors of nail polish with several competing brands like Revlon. Big factories make a ton of this stuff and sell small bottles for high prices. But, what if we decide that we don’t need nail polish?

Robots can crank out pre-fabricated walls and roofs for houses by the thousands. These buildings can go up in a day with pre-installed electricity lines and more. But what if we decide not to move?

What if, we as a people, collectively decide to not jump to buy the latest fashion and throw away our last year’s fashion but instead wear the clothes until they are thread-bare? Or grow our own veggies in the back yard? Or make our own booze in the garage? Or not buy the self-driving car because I don’t have a job downtown anymore?

Do you think that there could be a push-back? If you take away my job, why do you assume that I’ll buy your stuff?

I’m told that all of that data collecting by Facebook and Google is not so much about my privacy but instead pushing products (from shoes to news, baby) that we are known to be open about. What if we don’t buy at all? Or refuse to use that stuff at all. It would be hard to not use a search engine and Google has that market, but not looking at Facebook and Twitter seems really easy.

If there is advanced software that can crank out book written by a robot that are “just as good” as those written by humans, who is to say that we will read them?

That is the part of the oncoming wave of robots that I don’t understand. There is no guarantee that we will use the ones being made. We’ve been enthusiastic consumers for a long time but will we always be? That is my question.

I like the idea of a garden in my back yard. With an automated sprinkler system.

3 thoughts on “Robots, oh no!

  1. On this subject, and so many more, like the technology, always be on – wave, all it takes are fiery souls that stop and say no more. But we all know it’s easier to be a lemming, than to fight up hill alone. There’s too little time to think, to many inputs left and right.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Kubla, I don’t know where you get your quotes,unless it’s from your prodigious memory, but they are consummately aligned with your pieces, each and every time. And they make me smile.

    I think voluntary simplicity will be an answer for some, moving in spirit away from a consumption, market-driven economy. But it takes steadiness of purpose amidst all the peer and social pressure. Or need.

    Nice work here.

    Liked by 2 people

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