Thursday, January 09, 2020

Robots are still NOT coming to take your jobs

Unless you are a sign spinner. Then...... totally taking your job.

People should really be embarrassed about the constant hysteria about this. I complained all last year about how the robot uprising was just going to be an army of robot arms throwing the black power fist.

This year all of those cute dancing robots were predictably replaced with robot arms. Honestly I saw more advanced robots 10 years ago.


  1. As long as those robots pay into social security I'll be happy :-)

  2. Capital of Texas RefugeeFriday, January 10, 2020 12:12:00 AM

    "This year all of those cute dancing robots were predictably replaced with robot arms ..."





    Don't complain! I finally got you a souvenir from Miami!

    (aaaaaah, freak out!)


  3. I think you are downplaying the impact that automation is having on gutting the middle class. If your definition of robot means that it has to have arms and legs then it does seem overblown but if you're definition of robots includes artificial intelligence then I don't see how you can look past all of the retail store closings that seem to be caused by this new form of price discovery. The robots have already started to kill the merchant class. DF

  4. Because I believe that people think A.I. is smarter than it really is. So..... I'm not ignoring it.... I just don't believe it's a significant factor at this time.

    I can see that you are really having an issue with Amazon ( I don't think most other stores are using A.i - so you must be talking about Amazon) - so from my perspective this is the same story - different store.

    You see about a decade ago or so, Walmart was the devil. Walmart came in with their cheap prices and put everyone out of business. They even made a South Park episode out of it.

    They were even going to build a Super Walmart in my city but everyone got crazy and shut it down. After Walmart beautified the plot of land. They put in streets and lights and everything. You couldn't even go to the supermarket without the checkers telling you how evil Walmart was. But you know what? There are still the same amount of stores.

    Yet these same exact people had no problem buying cheap products from China.

    I think the retail apocalypse is overblown and people blame certain stores for the wrong reasons. The stores that are going out of business are stale and dusty. They don't meet the needs of their customers. I see lots of towns adding retail space like I haven't seen in a long time. Places like San Fransisco are outliers and have other factors like bad governance and illogical rents.

    Baby - you are one of the last people I'd think would be freaked out about technology. You were Mr Kioske for the longest time. And we likely wouldn't even know each other if it weren't for robots.

    But as always - I am not threatened by people who don't agree with my position. I fully acknowledge everyone has blind spots so I'm always willing to listen to contrary opinions. Maybe I'm missing something.

  5. Not just retail. There were 500 restauarants that closed in the Bay Area this year. Mine was one of them. The competitive landscape is ridiculous. This pressure comes from companies that have perfected price discovery and then use that info to put merchants at a disadvantage. Take UberEats for example, the people filling the orders might make minimum wage, but the machine that takes the reservation gets to keep a huge chunk of the gross receipt. Then look at how they use their machines nefariously. In the case of UBER, they would register people’s domain names and similar names to spam the web with fake menus that pay them a commission instead of letting people find restaurants own website where delivery does not earn them a fee. Manipulating SEO to take adavantsge of people who don’t understand search doesn’t add any value, but it is extremely destruction. The kiosks, the gig economy, the entire system has been turned against people, it was my own naivety that prevented me from seeing how automation is being used against us. Even Bernie can’t save us now. DF

  6. Aw Baby. I'm so sorry to hear that. The restaurant business is brutal. But the robots are not to blame. Socialism is to blame. If these companies had to turn a profit this wouldn't be happening. Instead they can lose to win. Take for example WeWork.

    Wework basically gave unrealistic rents to everyone. They were never going to turn a profit. Most companies can't keep existing if they don't turn a profit, and selling people office space at below market rates pulls all of their customers away. Now NO ONE IS MAKING MONEY. That is socialism. And this is exactly what Uber and UberEats are doing too. That is NOT price discovery in any way. That is losing to win. In the process putting all of your competitors out of business.

    Again. I'm super sorry to hear your place didn't make it. You've been through hard times before. You are a scrappy guy.

  7. Just to add - these are not new problems that technology created. Uber has basically become a cartel.

  8. Hi Davis (Mr S here),

    You wrote: "I don't see how you can look past all of the retail store closings that seem to be caused by this new form of price discovery"

    Can you expand on this thought a little? How did AI price discovery negatively affected your restaurant? I've never worked in the food service industry, so I'm not seeing the connection.