OPINION: YOU CANNOT FIND A SOLUTION THEN YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM

By Ron Munden – January 13, 2020

I recently shared an article on Facebook, “Robot Janitors Arrive At Walmart, Human Job Losses Likely To Follow.”

The article was posted about two months after my article, “The Robots Are Coming” was published on EastTexasExposed.com but I had not seen the article before.

I found the comments to my Facebook shared post very interesting.  One-person said, “The Democratic policy at work.” Another person said, “That 15 dollars an hour Democrat plan is what this is.”

These two replies show a complete lack of understanding of the problem.  What is most alarming is that in this country today the response to every problem is to blame the other political party?

Specifically, I was unaware that robotics is a Democratic policy.  Also, the person that thinks the $15 minimum wage is what is causing this problem is even dumber than I thought they were.

I fear this country’s future is not bright.  As the country does down the tube, people will be arguing about which party flushed the toilet.

Unites States of America – R.I.P.

For the record this is what the article said:

Robot Janitors Arrive At Walmart, Human Job Losses Likely To Follow

Jake Thomas — December 2018

Automation is coming for another retail job as Walmart prepares to unleash 360 autonomous floor-cleaning robots to its U.S. stores by January, according to NBC News.

Walmart made the announcement jointly with Brain Corp, which makes the artificial intelligence platform that runs the robotic cleaners, in a Monday release.

The world’s largest retailer has already put more than 100 machines to work, with the help of Brain OS. When the autonomous janitors are in action, they have yellow safety guards on both sides, detering any customers who might be tempted to hop on and take a ride while cleaning is in progress.

There’s a siren on top that lets people know with a subtle “beep beep” that it’s coming through to clean. But that’s not all it’s doing. Brain’s robots have sensors that allow it to collect information, which can be uploaded into a store’s cloud-based platform. For instance, as the robot cleans, it could collect data on which shelves are empty, according to one potential use case shared by a Walmart spokesperson.

The floor-scrubbing robot is not Walmart’s only automation: “A shelf-scanning robot being tested in 50 locations alerts a team when items are out of stock or incorrectly priced” and an “AI helper, Alphabot, quickly retrieves items in storage to help fill online orders.”

Company leadership is convinced such technologies also help make human workers more productive, as employees can leave more menial jobs to robots and focus on “higher value” tasks.

“Brain OS is a powerful tool in helping our associates complete repetitive tasks so they can focus on other tasks within role and spend more time serving customers,” said John Crecelius, vice president of Central Operations at Walmart.

Though it is still unclear precisely how automation will impact human employment into the future, NBC noted that a McKinsey report issued in 2017 estimated about 400 million to 800 million jobs worldwide could be lost to automation by 2030.

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OPINION: THE ROBOTS ARE COMING

By Ron Munden — ron@easttexasexposed.com — October 22,2018

Editor’s note:
I wrote this story in October 2018. Since that time robotic has advanced as predicted. Sadly, 27 months has passed a our government has still not started to address this problem. Andrew Yang is the only person I have heard discuss the what we a facing.

Today there is lots of talk about 7000 immigrants from Central America walking through Mexico and headed to the U.S. border. People are afraid these people are coming to take our jobs. Fortunately, the President has promised to protect our jobs from these invaders.

I am confident that this nation will get through this event and it will have no significant impact on the citizens of this country.

These are not the invaders that concern me. The invaders that concern me will be coming by the millions and will have a major impact on American jobs. They will change society from what we have today.

The invaders that concerns me are ROBOTS. I fear that we are a nation that is not preparing for impact of the robot invasion.

For 20 years or so engineers and scientists working on artificial intelligence seemed to have been stuck and there was little progress being made. That has all changed in the last 5 years. AI is on the move again. Cheap sensors and other hardware are now available and computer power continues to increase at the rate predicted by Moore’s law. There is now the merging of these technologies and powerful but cheap robots are increasingly available. Over the next few years, millions of the robots will be entering the workplace in the United States. The same will be happening in other countries throughout the word. Millions of jobs will be lost to robots. Yes, there will be some new jobs created but for every job created hundreds of old jobs will be lost.

Foxconn is a company that makes iPhones for Apple in China. Last year Foxconn eliminated 60,000 positions and replaced these people with robots.

The President announced that Foxconn was going to build a new factory in the United States. Yes, this is good but don’t expect it to produce tens of thousands of factory jobs. It may produce a couple of thousand new jobs but most of them will be computer related jobs. The factory worker is going to quickly become extinct.

Job losses will not be limited to factory floor jobs. Many office functions can be accomplished by robots and computers, so the clerical field will shrink. Truck drivers will also go on the chopping block. The autonomous cars are just a few years away, but I predict that autonomous long-haul trucks will be on the road even quicker. The technology is simpler, and the cost savings are huge. All of this will happen because there are strong economic incentives. If a business owner hopes to stay in business, they will have to go to robots to remain cost competitive.

When this happens there will a world where there are much fewer jobs than there are people to fill those jobs and the world will face a paradigm shift. Unfortunately, I see no indication that the United States has begun planning for this change. What do you do with a massive number of people that do not have jobs? While the United States appears to be doing nothing, other countries have begun planning.

Last month China announced its intent to transition to a 32-hour work week. Their intent is to complete the transition in less than 10 years.

Change is imminent. If you think 7000 immigrants is the biggest problem we face, I think you are mistaken. More robots and fewer jobs will impact orders of magnitude more people that the immigrant problem. The sooner the government recognizes this the better off the American worker will be.

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