Robots to Replace Low-Skilled Jobs?

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News Posted: Sat, Nov 29 2008 7:55 PM

How would you feel about a robot asking, “Would you like fries with that?” when you ordered a Big Mac? Well, if the National Intelligence Council’s recent Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World is correct, we could be experiencing just that by 2025.


Granted, it’s a few years down the road, but the idea that robots could be so capable to replace humans is interesting to think about, that’s for sure. Plus, assuming the robots are programmed to be nice at all times, we like the idea of guaranteed polite service.


However, this cool technology won’t come without costs: The NIC notes that these types of robots could disrupt unskilled labor markets and affect immigration patterns by filling some jobs that are currently performed by migrant workers.


If this robotic technology is to come to fruition, some of the drivers could come from the need for healthcare or home care for aging populations, the desire to improve manufacturing productivity, and from security and safety applications.


It may seem a bit like a scene from a sci-fi movie, but another concept in the NIC’s report predicts wearable exoskeletons that could resemble a wearable humanoid robot and supplement human physical capabilities. This robot would use sensors, interfaces, power systems, and actuators to monitor and respond to arm and leg movements. This type of technology would be particularly useful for the handicapped and the elderly, but it could also be used to reduce reliance on manual labor.


While the NIC lists the exoskeleton idea as possible, it suggests human cognitive augmentation technologies that it considers plausible. These technologies would enhance human cognitive abilities through drugs, implants, virtual learning environments, and wearable devices. The devices could improve vision, hearing, and even memory.


All of these technologies sound very cool, but going back to reality, today’s robots are not quite as advanced as those predicted by the NIC. Even so, we’re still entertained by this beer pouring robot that encourages tipping:



Beer pouring robot at TMCO open house from beerorkid on Vimeo.





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It sounds like a cool but scary idea..what if the robots don't like us!Tongue Tied

Right now it'll still cost less for a human worker at McDonalds etc. and humans are better at solving basic problems. Smile

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Dave_HH replied on Sat, Nov 29 2008 10:41 PM

Don't care how cool it is, nothing replaces the bartender they've got in the Budweiser commercials lately!

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ice91785 replied on Sun, Nov 30 2008 1:02 AM

It's kinda in play already at wal*marts and targets (the whole "robot" idea) ... detecting the items scanned, whether they are bagged, discount items, type of payment etc....mcdonalds I feel would probably start at something like this and go from there

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News:
How would you feel about a robot asking, “Would you like fries with that?” when you ordered a Big Mac?
 

I would just be greatful to have someone behind the counter that spoke English! Here in southern California that is quite rare these days.Sad

 

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ice91785 replied on Sun, Nov 30 2008 11:25 AM

Super Dave:
I would just be greatful to have someone behind the counter that spoke English! Here in southern California that is quite rare these days

.....¿que? No hablo ingles... Huh?

 

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Super Dave replied on Sun, Nov 30 2008 11:52 AM

I bet you don't have that problem in frigid Minnesota!

 

 

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ice91785 replied on Sun, Nov 30 2008 12:12 PM

If there is any language barriers up here it is generally between native minnesotans those of somolian descent ... spanish-speaking is a close second; but you are right, it is not overwhelming by any stretch of the imagination.

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Dave_HH:
Don't care how cool it is, nothing replaces the bartender they've got in the Budweiser commercials lately!
 

 

Yep and who,s going to listen to you when your whining about the spouse at the house!Yes

 

 

 

 

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Super Dave replied on Sun, Nov 30 2008 10:11 PM

amdcrankitup:

Yep and who,s going to listen to you when your whining about the spouse at the house!Yes

 

The girlfriend, perhaps?Stick out tongue

 

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amdcrankitup:

Dave_HH:
Don't care how cool it is, nothing replaces the bartender they've got in the Budweiser commercials lately!
 

 

Yep and who,s going to listen to you when your whining about the spouse at the house!Yes

Coming from someone that used to bartend. Not the bartender. You get tuned out pretty quick if you start talking about your problems.

 

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