Technology Review #4: Potential Job Distruptors
A central theme at the Manna Project is that automation is going to destroy so many jobs in the coming years that society will not be able to adapt quick enough. There are a number of studies that are predicting the loss of tens of millions of jobs in the United States alone. Countries like China and those in the EU face similar percentages of losses.
This is one of the main reasons we believe distributing a basic income is going to be necessary. This is purely a technological move that is going to destroy the jobs. It will be global in scale, affecting the third world nations first, before moving to the more developed ones.
Sadly, there are many who tend not to follow what is happening. We all lead busy lives so not spending one's day reading about technological innovations and how it will affect society is understandable. This is, however, a necessary part of the educational process that must be carried forward.
Each week, we are going to compile a few stories that show what is happening in this area. They will be linked to the original source and contain information about part of the oncoming technological boom.
We hope this helps each reader to garner some idea of the potential that is ahead of us. The studies done that conclude tens of millions of job losses is made real when one sees the research that is taking place.
Here is this week's submission:
Do you have a favorite coffee place? When you go in there, how many people are working?
Reports about the job perils of lower end, fast food type places is well publicized. Many believe that shrinking margins are going to cause many of these outlets to look to cut costs in a large way. The largest expense most companies have is labor. This is certainly true in the restaurant industry.
There is a company that is looking to completely upend the coffee market. It is opening locations that have no employees nor any seats. Instead, it is a robotic coffee maker.
Cafe X just raised $9.4 million in funding on the way to a goal of $12.01 million.
The company is presently operating three locations in the San Francisco area.
Here is what the it looks like.
To get a cup of morning joe, customers place an order via the touchscreen on the Cafe X bar, or using the Cafe X app. When the drink is ready, a text is sent to the customer.
This certainly is a major step towards automation of lower end jobs. Serving coffee is a role that millions of people fulfill each day. Naturally, those who work in chains such as Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts do a lot more than just serve coffee. This, however, is just one step in a much larger trend.
If a company like this takes off, we can expect others to follow suit. This would mean that these robotic coffee outlets could start appearing everywhere. The labor required is a great deal less than what a normal restaurant staffs. This could lead to lower prices meaning that one might forgo the ham and egg sandwich to save time and money.
Another concern is that, if this is successful, you could see the major chains embrace it, meaning that while the full staff of the store isn't let go, a reduction of a couple people could take place.
Something else to keep in mind.
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