Early in 2011 President Obama made a comment about automated systems such as ATMs and automated grocery store checkout systems. His political opponents gave him a hard time when he explained that sometimes advances in technology hurts jobs, and other times make our workers more productive and competitive. We all know this to be a fact, and although he was probably using his statement as a reason for high unemployment rates, or perhaps an excuse – the point should be well taken.

Not more than a couple weeks later President Obama attended a meeting and gave a speech at the Carnegie Mellon robotics college about how future robotics would help our technologically advanced society and civilization. Apparently, too many people took what he said the wrong way, and out of context and he felt he needed to shore up the negative publicity. In doing so, he and the professors at Carnegie Mellon explained to the American people how our future was unfolding now, and how robotics will make us more efficient in everything we do. russian store

Indeed, another reason to study math and science and consider a field in robotics, which was a good pitch for the college as well. Three weeks later the West Coast grocery store chain; Albertsons, announced that it would be getting rid of its automatic checkout lines. The company that makes these automated checkout systems watched their stock deteriorate, but then gave a press compress explaining how grocery stores were only one of the many types of stores and industries that use their systems, their stock climbed back up.

Perhaps, you’ve seen these automated checkout systems in Lowe’s and Home Depot as well. There are also in Walmart and many other places. Now then, many people understand that having 4 or 5 of these automatic checkout systems being monitored by one checker, human, means that less people have a job. Indeed, human shoppers have not found these to be at their favorite way to buy their goods, as many are not used to it or are merely adverse to change. Albertsons realizing that it’s union grocery store clerks didn’t like them, and that the shoppers didn’t particularly like them either, decided to take them out.

Now then, this doesn’t mean in the future that you will not have an automatic checkout system which scans all the groceries you have put inside your cart, as you wheel it through some sort of scanning system, as that probably is the future, especially considering RFID tags. Still, and luckily for many people who are unemployed it will be a while, because the shoppers don’t trust these systems yet, the unions hate them, and our unemployment is rather high. Nevertheless, that will be our future. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *