A new convenience store opened in Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, so what’s so special about it? The store has no more attendants nor cashiers. Customers just walk in, scan their phone, take what they need from the shelves and walk out. It’s fast, convenient and safe even though there are no sales personnel to keep an eye out.
Amazon call it “just walk out shopping” which is made possible by its new generation of machines that can identify one customer from another and what they pick up from the shelf. After leaving the store, the shopper will then receive a notification within minutes updating them with a receipt of their purchased goods.
Technological advancements for example, Driverless cars for instance, are possible because intelligent machines can sense and communicate with other cars, which means that machines can soon be able to do that were once exclusive to humans.
A robot tax is a levy firms would be forced to pay if machines were to be used instead of hiring people. This will slow down the pace of automation but will be a disadvantage for countries with problems of low investment, low productivity and a shrunken industrial base like the U.K. which has 33 robot units per 10,000 worker, a small ratio compared to 93 in the U.S. and 213 in Japan.
The problem here is not whether the robots are coming, because it is inevitable and it is certainly not whether A.I. will be able to boost growth, because they will. The reskilling has never happened. Government did not increase their budgets for education, and in some cases cut them.
The Centre for Cities suggest that the areas hardest hit by the hollowing out of manufacturing are going to be hardest hit by the next wave of automation as well. That’s because the factories and the pits were replaced by BPO service providers and warehouses, where the scope for humans to be replaced by machines in most obvious.
The change will not only affect upper and lower classmen but it will also affect people living in mid standards mostly due to the fact that these machines could replace radiologists, lawyers, journalists like they have replaces cashiers.
More hours of study and research must be allotted before making any crass decisions and it should be done at a quicker pace, in order for this to work towards the advantage of all parties.