Monday, September 19, 2011

Robotic fast food

I just ordered fast food from a computer for the first time. A jack in the box I went to had a bonus two tacos for anyone who used the machine.

It was a pain. I had to hit a whole bunch more buttons because they kept trying to get me to upgrade in some expensive way or another. Still, once made less annoying, or even if not made less annoying, I have little doubt that it will become common place. The fact of the matter is that machine probably costs less than a year of a minimum wage labor. I strongly suspect that over the next twenty years fast food restaurants will slowly transform into high tech vending machines. There will probably be one person there to watch over things, much like most gas stations, but that is about it.

I must admit to getting worried that we won't have enough jobs. The only thing that gives me hope is that we have so many useful things we could be paying people to do. They could be returning the Los Angeles River to an attractive state, building a StarTram, teaching English to immigrants, fixing the absurd numbers of potholes in roads, cleaning up all the trash that makes downtown LA so ugly and so on. Still, neither private industry nor government seem to actually be hiring people to do these things.

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