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If You’re Worried About Robots Taking Your Job, Maybe You’re An Idiot

If You’re Worried About Robots Taking Your Job, Maybe You’re An Idiot

by Justin OConnellOctober 26, 2015

It’s true. Let’s face it. If you can’t do things beyond the capacity of a robot, you’re probably an idiot.

Fear of a robot planet litters the artistic record. For instance, in his first novel, Player Piano, Kurt Vonnegut paints a dystopia that is nearly completely mechanized. In this near-feature, there is no need for human laborers.

The story is set in post-World War III, a time when America’s managers and engineers developed automated systems so factories could operate with as few workers possible. The automation of the workplace is one major themes in the novel. It is “a novel about people and machines, and machines frequently got the best of it, as machines will.” One of the last jobs out there, barber, suffers the process of its obsolescence throughout the book.

We see Vonnegut’s fictional reality unfolding today. There’s no better example than that of MIT researchers creating a bar operated completely by robots.  What’s a better symbol of Western Civilization’s prestigious institutions than the bar? There isn’t one. As I wrote for

The MIT researchers took a factory line approach as one robot opens the beer, with two others taking orders from clientele and delivering the drinks. The bartending robot, a PR2, was helped by two four-wheeled Turtlebot robots, who worked as the wait staff. It wasn’t perfect.

The robots weren’t perfect though.

As for outcomes, a robot may drop items when trying to pick them up or take longer than expected to navigate. And, on top of that, robots often are not able to communicate with one another, either because of communication noise or because they are out of range.

Read More: Robot Bartenders

Imagine that! If all the bartending jobs were gone…Well, what else would be left for America’s overeducated Millennials, who, after their day job at Starbucks or that internship, report for restaurant duty in low-cut tees and tight pants to serve over-priced cocktails? America’s young have gotten the shit educated out of them for such opportunities.

Would they truly be fucked if they couldn’t get another job in, say, digital journalism? There’s no way…Could a robot truly spend months in a Turkish prison like a millennial human digital journalist? I doubt it. But, at the very least, they do compose.

AP’s robots, well-versed in the AP Style Guide, publish more than 3,000 stories each quarter. According to Google, if you want to know whether you’re reading robotese, look for This story was generated by Automated Insights at the bottom of an AP article.  It turns out, I’m just as fucked like my server, bartender, Starbucks and intern friends. It doesn’t stop there. In the stockroom, the military,  hotels, the pharmacy, on the farm and at the checkout stand, robots are already doing our jobs pretty damn good. Hell, with all the legal marijuana being smoked before work in the country, robots are probably doing our jobs better. If you’re not one of those, you’re probably fucked anyway. Or are you?

Doug Stanhope reasons on Mexicans, “If you’re worried about an illegal immigrant taking your job, you’re a loser of epic and humiliating proportions.” If you’re so mono-dimensional you have the qualifications of a robot, you might be a vegetable hallucinating this article while hooked up to a ventilator oblivious to your near and encroaching demise. In your case, none of this matters.

In my case, I know, at the very least, I can set up with my guitar on a street curb and get discovered thereby like Jewel or some shit. Wait, what’s that Google? Robots write perfect pop songs? They write them with Bob Dylan? Shit!

Still. I refuse to believe that, once robots take all of our jobs, we’re doomed. Google, however, implies humans are fearful thereof:


So, we’re scared of robots. We shouldn’t be so pusillanimous and fearful. Buck up! Let’s make these robots our bitches. Let’s party! Shit, maybe robot-currencies will even create bitcoins out of nothing.  Or maybe, with robot bartenders and self-driving cars, we here in North America can keep the bars open past 1:30 am.

Image from Shutterstock.

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