How robots could easily replace the person at the fastfood stand
First, that 411 voice recognizer on the phone could be used at the intercom. The voice recognizer processes the order and converts it to something the robots can process.
You have a cook robot that just takes the fried food and puts in the fryer. The order bot, of course, takes orders.
You see it already at the automatic grocery store cashier checkout.
Just a matter of time.
There is the cook and cashier bot, right there.
You don't get it. It's cheaper to use humans.
Cheaper, and that soul-less "given up on life" feeling you get when buying fast food isn't something you can replace with a machine.
March 9th, 2007 5:00am
Who'd spit in your food then?
March 9th, 2007 5:02am
you want fries?
March 9th, 2007 8:30am
you want fries?
March 9th, 2007 8:30am
you want fries?
March 9th, 2007 8:30am
Who's to say that the person behind the counter isn't already a low-grade FemBot?
March 9th, 2007 8:40am
Could be sold for a lot more with just a bit of bodywork and a firmware upgrade, then.
It would be more humane to *not* have all those people working the friers.
Maybe they'd study dance or linguistics or WoW, instead.
March 9th, 2007 9:18am
Nope. They'd sit at home, watch TV, drink Bud Light and make more welfare babies.
A first-world economy relies on service jobs for most of employment. And most of the workforce is only qualified to do menial labour. A hundred years ago they would work in a factory for 14 hours a day, so don't feel too bad for them, yeah?
Well, more people (percentage-wise) study dance, linguistics and WoW today than did 100 years ago during the manufacturing boom days.
So what I said, I think, is still true .. automation of the food service industry would likely repeat the benefits it brought in other industries. I already use self-checkout at the grocery and hardware stores (wages are too high here, and with mandated health coverage coming real soon, employers are innovating left and right).
But yes, there'd be more time to snicker at Britney's and Trump's hairdos as well. (Imagine if they got hitched? Ewwww.)
BTW, whoever can figure out what people will be doing with a mere sliver of their extra time will make a bazillion dollars/euros/etc.
March 9th, 2007 10:18am
"Well, more people (percentage-wise) study dance, linguistics and WoW today than did 100 years ago during the manufacturing boom days."
I expect if you actually look at the numbers, you will find a higher percentage of men & women of leisure during the industrial revolution than now. Basically all the middle-class wives...
A "house-wife" was a "person of leisure"? Well, sure, but only if she was able to hire a full-time nanny.
Otherwise, I think she was quite busy most of the time. "Labor saving devices" like vacuum cleaners, dish-washers and freezers and food processors still left a lot of time for cooking, cleaning, and looking after young ones.
March 9th, 2007 11:10am
A couple months back The Economist ran an article about leisure. It said that we (including hausfraus) have more leisure time (10 hours per week I think it was) than 40 years ago despite all the griping and complaining people do about their lack of time.
The article didn't go back a 100 years, but I think the effect would have been much more pronounced. I think you're underestimating the time savings of microwaveable frozen food over, you know, butchering it, curing it and stuff (*).
(*) Overheard conversation in grocery store by a middle-aged woman to her husband while handling a can of chicken broth .. "I used to make my own broth, but this canned stuff is so much faster and easier." Honest. I even bought a can after I heard (don't buy low-fat chicken broth, it's an oxymoron).
March 9th, 2007 11:35am
In fact, I think the extra time afforded by increased automation/manufactured goods is what forced women to leave their homes to earn their keep in the taxable workforce at large - there's no free lunch, honeys.
March 9th, 2007 11:37am
That combined with a lot of men being gone from the home in WW2.
10 hrs per week? Wow, I'm living rather well.
March 9th, 2007 11:40am
10 hours per week *more* leisure time than 40 years ago. Ie, those statistics that Americans watch 4 hours of TV a day imply they have the time to do so.
I don't see what WWII has to do with it. Except making a short-term labor shortage which drove women back into the home after the gains in the 30's/early 40's.
March 9th, 2007 11:55am
No, it was Ronald Reagan and "Supply Side Economics" that *forced* America into two-earner families. Running 300 billion dollar deficits year after year devalued the dollar to the point where you needed two wage earners to be able to afford the 'standard' American life-style.
Before that, an Engineer making $30,000 dollars a year could afford a new car every three years, and food and housing for himself, his wife, and their 2.5 children. After that, it was BOTH working, TWO Toyota's kept 10 years each, and 1.5 children. And THAT took $100,000 a year or so.
But Americans have very short memories for what's actually gone on, and very romantic nostalgia for a time that never actually existed. Makes them easy to take advantage of by unprincipled demagogues who are willing to say anything to make the world a "better place".
March 9th, 2007 11:57am
> But Americans have very short memories for what's actually gone on, and very romantic nostalgia for a time that never actually existed.
> Before that, an Engineer making $30,000 dollars a year could afford a new car every three years, and food and housing for himself, his wife, and their 2.5 children.
Um, is self-application in order? :)
Those golden 70's. I remember them. I was 7, and 6 and 5 and etc, there were no more worries beyond whether Mr Hooper getting the wrong GED certificate on Sesame Street.
March 9th, 2007 12:19pm
Let's see, in chronological order, the 1970's had:
1. Moon shots (left over from the 1960's)
2. Civil Rights (ditto)
3. The Viet-Nam War, including the Draft (ditto)
4. Nixon and Watergate
5. Jimmy Carter, Runaway inflation, "economic malaise".
6. The start of creation of the Space Shuttle, not completed until 1980.
7. The overthrow of the Shah of Iran, and the Iranian Hostage Crisis.
8. The very beginning of the Paul Volker "Kill Inflation At Any Cost" Federal Reserve Board economic policy.
8. Not to leave out, a couple of very short wars against Israel.
March 9th, 2007 12:41pm
Nixon was left over from the 50's and the McCarthy Era.
Let's not forget Kissinger, and his private wars, who briefly tried to crawl out of his coffin a little while back.
I lost my innocence when I saw Jimmy Carter with a sweater vest. What!!! The President of the US's human!! He feels cold!!!! He can't magically fly in and rescue the hostages like Jack Bauer can!!
It's all been downhill ever since.
March 9th, 2007 12:57pm
>> Before that, an Engineer making $30,000 dollars a year could afford a new car every three years, and food and housing for himself, his wife, and their 2.5 children. After that, it was BOTH working, TWO Toyota's kept 10 years each, and 1.5 children. And THAT took $100,000 a year or so. <<
My parents did this, but it was by not having cable TV (we had a black & white TV, not color), country-club memberships, new cars every three years, etc.
I think today it's a case of expanded expectations.
People get married and demand to have what their parents had, even though it took a lifetime for mom & dad to buy the Gomer-Bolstrood furniture.