A Padre Island sunrise

Sunday, February 12, 2017


The other day I read a blog that had a 15 minute video on our future with robots,
"Humans need not apply"  . The video was enlightening & a bit frightening.

Today I went to a Walmart Superstore for a few things.  Darn few check out counters were open, but there was room in the DIY counters.
I went there.

Self check out robot at work

The self check out robot up close

I enjoy going to a human when I'm checking out, maybe that's from the year+ or so vandwelling, when standing in a check out line was a chance to interact with other live humans... even if they really didn't want to talk.
The guy in front of you comments on the gossip magazine cover - do you just ignore him?

I went to the self check out section because it was open. As I was ringing up my stuff I realized that I was interacting with a robot. This robot took the place of someone who would have had to be paid by the hour, a warm body that the store would have to pay social security taxes on, and unemployment taxes & various insurances for.
As a plus, the bot may break down but it won't call in sick the day after the SuperBowl.

I'd never thought of it as a robot before.

Like the video said, the robot doesn't have to be better than the human, just make fewer mistakes.

Another robot I'm very familiar with but never think about
I wonder how many jobs these two robot types have taken?

This will probably affect my children & grandchildren more than me... probably.


  1. You are right. Ford just allocated one billion dollars to the development of self driving cars. Is this the future where humans will be unnecessary?
    the Ol'Buzzard

    1. I think we're looking at a great big unknown... One of many.
      I'm sure the answer is written somewhere in Science Fiction, pick your favorite.
      Thanks for the comment.

  2. I had not given it much thought, but in a way the self check out and the ATM machine are robots.

    I stay clear of the self check outs, I prefer the human interaction even if I have to stand in line longer.

    I do not like ATM cards so I cut them up as soon as they mail them to me. In your case and as much as you travel it would not be practical.

    1. I have to admit that I've used ATMs for many years, I never thought of them as robots & really like the convenience. 3/4 of the time (these days) I'll use a self check out just to save the time.
      I never thought of the self checkout as a robot until I watched that robot video ... I guess if it bagged my groceries for me calling it a robot would be easier...
      Thanks for the commenting!

  3. Turns out that driving is one of the simplest tasks any computer could ever be asked to do. When you think about it, driving for most of us is a rather brain-dead state -- comparable to watching TV where a brain monitor would conclude that we are asleep. I'd be happy to let my rig drive itself while I hang out in the back seat with a good video or take a nap :)

    1. Once self driving cars prove themselves the current style are on there way out.
      Think about it... no drunk drivers, a way to make everyone buy new cars or stop driving (less traffic), the old cars are off the road and a more solid control over society by the managers.
      Plus the computers just have to make fewer mistakes and talking about driving, well that can't be too hard :-)