We’re all hearing a lot about how even if jobs can come back, companies will use ROBOTS.

I saw a story recently that McDonald’s is using touchscreens more and more instead of cashiers!  Who’s to say a robot can’t squirt mustard on a burger?  Can you imagine how many that would put out of work?   That’s only one company…SO many are going robotic!

CAN THE WEST SURVIVE THE ROBOTIZATION OF MANUFACTURING AND SERVICE JOBS?   And, forget robots, I called DirecTV today about my bill and talked to a machine and got the info I needed from a machine…no human contact.  HOW many jobs are lost for THAT?  MANY.  That machine and robots don’t use health insurance, robots don’t have unions demanding higher wagers, there are no minority robots which need coddling…it’s CHEAPER to use robots…


Just saw the news that Carrier says they have a deal with Trump on jobs!  I hope they don’t stay in America and robotize THEIR plant…it could be the only way a company can afford to stay!!


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40 Responses to ROBOTS v PEOPLE?

  1. fredd says:

    Not to get overly worked up about robots taking over our jobs, Z. Sure, some jobs will be automated. It’s been happening since the first land critter crawled out of the ooze. If this wasn’t the way life worked, nearly all of us would still be in the fields tending crops, instead of one farmer sitting on a GPS guided tractor/combine.

    Leave it to me to look at life through those rosy glasses, Z. People will always figure out how to add value to something, then sell it on for a profit. That’s how we are. Robots can only do so much, and they themselves need people to keep them going. They don’t make robots that can fix broken robots. Yet. And even when that happens, they still won’t be making robots that can fix robots that fix robots….I could go on here, but I won’t.


  2. geeez2014 says:

    fredd, robots have put tons of people out of work and more and more companies don’t have humans on the end of the phone anymore, either.
    Yes, robots need people to keep things going but between computers (which also need a lot of people to keep going, I know that) and robots, I believe we have lost jobs………many jobs.


  3. geeez2014 says:

    Off topic but funny, (sort of)…have you seen how the media’s always mentioning how ‘exclusive’ and ‘expensive’ the restaurant where Trump and Romney and Priebus had dinner last night? There’s more of that in the headlines than the obviously healine-making news that they ate together, period! As if they’re supposed to go to Olive Garden or something? So funny. And it’s Trump’s own restaurant, so he could have dined free, but the media can’t let facts get in their insulting way!


  4. John M. Berger says:

    I think that the key concept here is [adaptation]. Not unlike “climate change” the concern here is, as in the theme of Alvin Toffler’s book, FUTURE SHOCK*: “too much change in too short a period of time”.
    That said, I’m turned-off with such things as trying to communicate with a robot when inquiring help on the phone. Further, I don’t like self-check out in stores. I guess that I’m not adapting well to some things!


  5. I’ve been an automation engineer since 1984. I have installed robots and programmed them and replaced humans.
    This made the plant competitive, ensuring the remaining jobs and those of our local suppliers.
    It’s analogous to pruning a tree or vine.


  6. Silverfiddle says:

    The march of technological advancement will continue. It his how society advances. Shumpeter called it “creative destruction.” Coal oil severely impacted candlemankers, and then the lightbulb came along…

    The key to preventing people from getting crushed is economic liberty: A free and open market where people with new ideas and new ways to do things can enter easily and compete fairly. And yes, sometimes government can play a productive role. Grants to communities and tax breaks to companies for cooperating with the local community college to fund job skills upgrades to workers, not pestering a woman who wants to do nails with 10,000 pages of bureaucratic sludge and and onerous licensing requirements, etc.

    We can’t just shrug and walk away when people and their 40’s and 50’s are displaced by technology, and that was the big problem with the sterile conservative theorists. They spouted platitudes from the economic playbook, but had no answer for real people with real worries about their livelihoods and how they were going to feed their families.

    Change is never easy, but we can do it without leaving people behind.


  7. bocopro says:

    I have great faith in humankind’s ability to create and adapt, but there ARE limits.

    I fear that our physical sciences have outrun our social sciences. We already have technologies which will produce unintended consequences, the most frightening of which is artificial intelligence becoming aware and wondering what’s the purpose of these weak, whimsical, foolish humans.

    So, with robots as with all forms of advanced technology, antes que tu cases, mira lo que haces.


  8. Robots will need repair technicians.


  9. Kid says:

    I certainly agree with the adaptation conclusion with the exception of low education people. The elimination of many manufacturing jobs is primarily responsible for our growing ghetto communities that leave idle hands to spend their time breeding for $ and committing crimes.

    As far as your OT Z, did the article mention how the obama’s have spent 1.5 billion of tax $ on vacations ?


  10. My recent surgery was accomplished via the Da Vinci Robot. Note that a surgeon operates the robot.


  11. John M. Berger says:

    “The elimination of many manufacturing jobs is primarily responsible for our growing ghetto communities that leave idle hands to spend their time breeding for $ and committing crimes.”

    Precisely, for an in-depth understanding of this I recommend reading THE BELL CURVE by Richard Herrnstein & Charles Murray. Although it is extremely politically incorrect, the facts exposed therein are difficult to dispute.


  12. Kid says:

    Thanks JMB


  13. geeez2014 says:

    JMB: “That said, I’m turned-off with such things as trying to communicate with a robot when inquiring help on the phone. Further, I don’t like self-check out in store” Me, too. I go thru the check out line, have a little chat with Loida “you had Cornish game hens for Thanksgiving? I like them but my husband used to say there were too many bones.” “OH NO, that’s exactly what MY husband said this year!” You miss that kind of stuff at a machine checking your own stuff out, don’t you 🙂

    Ed, the pruning is good for the company….sad for so many employees. which is my point….


    AOW….as do computers…there are jobs like that created,yes. MUCH less than the actual workers, and the joy of working with hands, a day’s hard work. Different when a surgeon is operating a robotic surgery….no job lost.

    Kid, I HAD THAT EXAAAACT THOUGHT when I heard the media bashing of a rich man eating at a nice restaurant that BELONGS TO HIM when interviewing the possible next SEc of State!! “Anybody ask how much the OBAMA’S SPENT ON VACATIONS?” You are SO RIGHT.

    MANY economists are concerned with my concerns ….have read and heard a few myself….this is real… We need to train those people who are unemployed do work with robots, etc….and we need to have OTHER jobs available for them to train TO.

    Still, as health insurance prices rise for companies, and unions make huge demands, what company doesn’t want to get RID OF PEOPLE??


  14. fredd says:

    Z: as loathe as I am to profoundly disagree with you, I will proceed. You couldn’t be more wrong, suggesting that robots are a bad thing for society. I know, you did’t say exactly that, but the gist is there. You are sounding like a Luddite – bemoaning the advance of technology that makes the tedious labor of humans obsolete.

    Like all of the buggy whip workers who lost their jobs because of the automobile. Like all of the key punch operators who lost their jobs because of advances in IT. Like all of the phone company operators who are no longer working (remember Ernestine on Laugh-In?) because of automated telecom tech advances. Yet the automobile, and advances in IT and telecommunications have created millions of new jobs, while eliminating hundreds of thousands of old ones. The math is justifiable. Creative destruction, as economists call it. What is your suggestion here, Z? Outlaw robots? Or maybe boycott robots, and all who use them?

    Listen to you, Z. You are truly souding like an alarmist Luddite. Robots are just another form of technology that will improve the human condition. Yes, they will displace workers in the short term, but in the long run we will all be better off. Just like we don’t need to spend our days in the fields working our fingers to the bone just to eat.

    You couldn’t be more wrong, I hope you understand my position here. And again, I am loathe to disagree with you.


  15. geeez2014 says:

    fredd! GAD! I must have sounded as extreme as you do! There’s nothing black and white. Yes, robots have replaced humans. FACT. I’m not saying DO AWAY WITH ALL ROBOTS, etc!

    Yes, your points about cars is a good one, but I’m thinking it took far MORE people to work on autos than ever worked on horses and buggies.

    As you can see in my last comments…I believe it’s RETRAINING THOSE WHO’VE LOST THEIR JOBS WHICH MUST BE DONE if people aren’t going to just walk out of a factory like Ed’s (see his first comment above) with no job….and no food for their families.

    Don’t loathe to disagree with me, though you’re sweet to say so!….it’s good to disagree and I so much appreciate your good points here…

    I would like to see stats on robots (including calling my bank and being totally dependent on automation instead of talking to the gal who lost her job for that automation)…and how many people actually do get retrained…. wouldn’t you?

    Thanks, Fredd!!


  16. Sparky says:

    Automation is disconcerting. Learn a trade or start a business or service that no one else offers in your area. That’s our only hope.


  17. Mal says:

    Z, the automated McDonald’s was, I believe, in San Francisco because they raised the minimum wage to $15/hr. I don’t believe it was the cooks. Just the order counter. Everyone said that would happen, and it did. DUH! I mean, what did they expect would happen?


  18. edbonderenka says:

    Like Mal said. The market will drive these decisions.
    One thing robots have done is force quality improvements.
    Forced it.
    Suppliers can no longer send parts whose dimensions vary knowing that the worker will compensate. Robots demand repeatability.
    As for my pruning analogy, it is sad that some workers are let go, but it is not so sad that the remaining get to stay because the operation is profitable.
    Where I currently am employed, the work could not be performed by a human.
    Putting in cold blanks and removing hot blanks from an oven and loading them in to a press at 1600 degrees F is out of the scope of a human. But this process makes cars magnitudes safer in an accident and lighter and more fuel efficient.
    And nobody would be driving hilos, repairing presses, counting parts, running payroll, etc. here if those robots weren’t feeding the presses.


  19. geeez2014 says:

    Sparks, I’m with you!

    Mal..yes, and still people are out of work, those who took the orders,,And yes, who wouldn’t implement that when faced with high hourly pay and insurance, etc?

    Ed, obviously, if it’s something people can’t do, machines win…that’s gone on since the early days ….



  20. Kid says:

    Another thought. In Cincinnati I recently saw where 34,000 jobs were available. If people weren’t getting paid to stay home they’d find a job assuming no disability or other such constraint. We literally can’t find people to work in our warehouse. We have a hard time finding salesmen that stick around. We sell packaging supplies so it’s not a glamor job, but when people are hungry they work where they can find it. That’s what I did for about 20 years before moving into a programming career. Worked 30 or more jobs between 15 and 25.

    And large companies never grow their work force on a permanent basis. Motorola, GE, etc are always laying off thousands from time to time. Again, we need jobs for low education people. JMB’s bell curve is a sobering reality. And maybe more so today with people entering college with the intellect of a 12 yr old.


  21. Kis: Then again, re-reading the title of the post, perhaps we should be discussing autonomous killer robots.


  22. geeez2014 says:

    Kid! So basically ‘unskilled’ warehouse jobs are hard to fill….and even salesmen? Well, I wonder how many are home collecting welfare from us versus people being busy in other companies??
    We used to encourage people to do their best…
    I’m hoping a Trump administration will put at least a dent in the entitlement mentality


  23. geeez2014 says:

    Ed, I think it was a pretty valid title…. I think there’s enough proof that people are NOT getting the jobs they could be because machines are now doing them.

    Ya, what’s with KIS instead of KID..>Freudian? (Smile)


  24. Kid says:

    Z, people aren’t working because it is too easy not to.

    It is a damned if you do damned if you don’t for Trump. How many will be upset they had to go back to work IF Trump makes that happen..? There is a point of no return with this socialism stuff.


  25. geeez2014 says:

    Kid sorry I hadn’t seen that post…
    And THINKING robots is hideous…I still don’t think they can TOTALLY think on their own; they must be programmed, but…yikes!

    I’d love Trump to talk about that subject “you going to lie around on your couch and wait for the welfare check, you can kiss that check goodbye..” AND WHY…and what will happen if you don’t at least LOOK for a job


  26. Kid says:

    Au Contraire Z. They have hardware (neuron similar connections and processing) and artificial intelligence (AI) software that allows computers to learn and learn quickly.

    And yes, let’s get people to work. Taxpayers make much better voters.


  27. John M. Berger says:

    @ Kid,

    You really get it, don’t you! I bet, in no small part, you see what Cincinnati once was; the “Machine Tool Capital of the World”. Does any of that still exist? If not, why not?


  28. Kid says:

    JMB, Thanks so much…

    Well, I arrived in Cincinnati for a job, after growing up in Pittsburgh for 26 yrs, and moving to the Phoenix area and working there 20 years. So, I’m not a Cincinnati expert (other than to testify that Yes, the NTSB report that Cincy has the worst drivers in the country is not only accurate but understated as well….)

    I know clinton (or clinton directed by big business, aided by greedy unions) shipped out all the trade mfg jobs to China and Mexico and left the area like it had been hit by nukes. Indiana (close by) as well Like Muncie(tranmissions) Indiana and I know many towns in Ohio and Indiana serviced the auto industry with components for autos made in Detroit. My friend worked in Wooster OH at a place that made car interiors. All of that was suddenly gone in just a few years.
    Like a mining town that hit the last of the gold vein. Purely devestating for the area. Did leave Ghost towns around here too.

    An example of how such changes made too quickly are really devestating. Reinforces comments made above. Hope I was on point with your thoughts. Late here and 2 glasses of wine 🙂


  29. geeez2014 says:

    Kid, but they only learn what they’re programmed to learn, right? They can’t reason on their own…out of the box, so to speak!?? CAN THEY!?
    I didn’t realize you’d lived in Phoenix for twenty years!

    JMB…sad, isn’t it…Like Pittsburgh was STEEL TOWN… breaks my heart.


  30. Baysider says:

    As Mal said, the $15/hour minimum wage is driving big changes in low-end server jobs at fast food places. I believe it was Wendy’s that has invested a lot of $$$ in a broad move to replace highly paid, low skill entry level workers with machines.


  31. Kid says:

    Z, Only what they are programmed to learn? NO. Totally, absolutely, No. They can learn lke a human only a million times faster.


  32. Kid says:

    Z, Isaac Asimov saw this comoing a long time ago – 1942. The Wiki is the 3 laws for robotics but he introduced a 4th law which he called a zeroth law.

    Good read so I won’t just post an excerpt here.


  33. Kid says:

    PS, Even if a robot was shipped out with the 4 laws protecting humans, it would be hacked. We know it would be hacked. There is no chance it wouldn’t be hacked.


  34. Kid says:

    Baysider, I read where McDonalds is ready to replace everyone beside those who would stock the food making machines and 1 or 2 people to deliver the finished product to the counter, and help customers enter orders.

    16 people reduced to 3 as a guesstimate.


  35. geeez2014 says:

    Kid, yes, McDonalds is definitely in the forefront on this…sadly. SO many people will be replaced… HORRIBLE.
    I can’t address the Laws of Robotics thing; it’s too scary.
    SO MANY threats to us in the Western World these days…

    I long for the days of cowboys and indians 🙂 That is, when we could SAY Indians…


  36. Kid says:

    Damn those redskins…..

    (I don’t long for pioneer days. That was was damn tough living.)


  37. geeez2014 says:

    Kid, I meant playing cowboys and indians when we were kids….sorry I didn’t make that clear.
    But, also, that ‘tough living’ was got through…and the people of those days loved this country and had values and ethics and faith and wouldn’t burn the flag to save their own lives.
    I’m fer it 🙂


  38. Kid says:

    Z, Yes, those people came from oppression and so understood it and valued its opposite. Today, we have lots or propagandized and confused people, Blame the media and the federal dept of non-eduation.


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