Today I blog about something that has been bothering me for quite sometime now. When out running errands one day I was able to buy gas, deposit money into the bank, and buy groceries all without ever having to interact with another human being. How can this be you ask? Simple: At the gas station you can simply pay with your card at the pump, get your gas, then be on your merry way. At the bank you can now make cash/check deposits at the ATM thus removing the need to stand inside in the 1 hour line, all the while being eye-fucked by greasy construction workers. As for the grocery stores, I am unsure as to how widespread this technology is, but here in Las Vegas stores from Target to Smith’s have the ‘Self Checkout’ line so you can check yourself out. Convenient, yes? Maybe so, but I can’t help seeing some problems with this.
The first and most obvious problem with this is the fact that all this ‘do it yourself’ technology is taking jobs away from people. Think of all the downsizing these companies did when their cashiers were replaced by that ‘more efficient’ machine. And let me just say, on a personal note, those fucking things are so annoying. Seriously, when you take your bag of groceries off the checkout counter to make room for more stuff it beeps at you and tells you to “wait for teller assistance” every five-fucking seconds. Efficient my arse. But I digress. Soon there will no longer be the options to get checked out by a human being, everything will be self checkout. The banks, well, I couldn’t really give two shits less about them because money is the devil anyway so i’m actually hoping they all go under in a Fight Club-esque way. More recently, they have even started putting self order kiosks into fast food restaurants. Some people in bad situations or with little to no education rely on jobs like fast food as their only means of income and now we have little machines replacing them as well. How about making some robots that do the jobs humans DON’T need or want like robots to clean out septic tanks, feed vicious animals like lions, and mop up the jizz at the adult arcades. These are jobs in which no one would complain about losing.
The second problem is one of a more “Terminator” nature. I know that at least once in your life you have thought about the possibility of an eventual takeover via Robots/technology. We as humans cannot resist the urge to fuck with things that we don’t even fully understand so in my opinion it’s only a matter of time (if we haven’t already) before we create a form of A.I that will surpass our own intelligence and said A.I, being smarter than we are, will determine that us humans are a plague on the earth and that the world would be better with out us and poison our drinking water by tapping into the filtration systems and dumping arsenic into it. Dramatic? Perhaps, but consider the fact that companies like I Robot (yes, this is a real business that provides weapons to the U.S government) are researching new technology as you read this and are being paid big bucks to do so. What makes you think they would stop and say “Oh gee guys, I know we are making a shit-ton of money, but maybe making robots that carry guns and run on biomass is a little unethical.” Get real. You can read about the ironically named EATR robots here: http://www.wired.com/underwire/2009/07/eatr-update-researchers-claim-hungry-robots-wont-eat-people/
So why are we trying so hard to make humans obsolete? Is it because we are lazy and always searching for the easy way to do thing? Are we really doomed to a future of fatties on rascal scooter like Wall-E predicts? If we keep finding ways to make every aspect of our lives ‘quick and easy’ then I fear the answer to that is yes. The one kind of technology I would be down for are the robots in Futurama that allow you to download any celebrity into them. I’d have me a Jared Leto robot…rawr.