What it is: In Asia, Pizza Hut is testing a robot server because it’s less expensive than hiring people.
In the United States, there’s a push to raise the minimum wage. Considering CEO pay has skyrocketed while wages for everyone else has remained stagnant, this may seem to make sense. Then again, any time anything changes, some people will get hurt no matter what.
Businesses claim that if the minimum age is raised, they won’t be able to hire as many people. Eventually the cost of hiring people ill get so expensive that it would be cheaper to replace them with robots. In the old days, luxury stores hired doormen to open the door for you. Nowadays every supermarket has an automatic door opener that has replaced a human door opener.
The same trend is starting to happen with other trivial jobs. Pizza Hut in Asia is testing a robot server that rolls up to a table and lets you order through a touch screen tablet. Since waiters and waitresses are basically simple jobs that almost anyone could do, robots can do the job just as well as far as the physical aspects of taking orders and delivering it is concerned. The future points to more robots doing trivial jobs, and pushing out unskilled laborers. If you really want a good job, learn to fix or program robots.
A Japanese hotel even has replaced hotel clerks with a robot that looks like a human and speaks several different languages. Hiring a human hotel clerk to remain on the front desk 24 hours a day is expensive, especially one who is multilingual, but a robot works just fine and much cheaper and more reliable. Robots are coming and making life easier for businesses. The problem is what do we do with all the people who used to do those trivial jobs?
If you look in the past, you may wonder where all the blacksmiths and typewriter repairmen went along with radio repairmen and traffic cops who used to stand in intersections and direct traffic until traffic lights appeared. Those jobs disappeared for good and never came back, so that’s what you can expect with the current trend to replace more humans with robots. It’s nothing new. If a machine (like a traffic light) can replace a human and work more reliably, then there’s no reason for humans to do that job any more. Robots are going to eliminate jobs that aren’t worth humans doing.
If you were a traffic cop in the old days, you might have rallied against the introduction of traffic lights. Yet it was a losing cause. Trying to rally against robots replacing humans as waiters or hotel clerks is an equally pointless situation. Robots are coming and they’re taking away jobs while freeing humans to do something more interesting.
How many people would want a job today, standing in a busy intersection to direct traffic when a traffic light can do the job far more reliably? People tend to cling to jobs because they want to get paid and feel useful, but if a machine can replace your job, chances are good your job is making you feel like a machine anyway.
The future is beckoning and it requires thinking and creativity. For too many people who want to skate through life doing as little as possible while making as much as possible, the threat of robots taking their jobs is terrifying. For people looking for more intellectually and emotionally fulfilling jobs, robots taking away jobs will simply force them to find a job where they can truly express themselves and get paid well for doing it.
And that’s one type of job no machine can ever replace.