Robots also lack the kind of intelligence, manual dexterity, and people skills that any good cook, host, or server relies on to keep their customers happy. Can Peanuts talk about an angry customer because their eggs were fried instead of scrambled? Can you finely grind tuna risotto and avocado drizzle, and have a nice little sauce bloom around the edges? Can a robot stop a chef who is about to rampage because someone invited his creations Low quality dog food? No way.
Even using a simple robot like Peanut requires some kind of negotiation between the machine and human coworkers. on the principle: Stay on track, robot. “They just don’t come in and blend well with us,” says Julie Carpenter, research fellow in the Ethics and Emerging Science Group at California Polytechnic State University. We are negotiating how to operate Around They are not smart enough to work around us, they are not cooperative. They are not cooperative. They just follow orders.”
Because of this personal embarrassment, you can make a strong case that there are some jobs that we just don’t want bots to take on. Part of a nurse’s job, for example, is to comfort patients and work seamlessly with other medical personnel, while the robot is devoid of such empathy and collaborative skill. A policeman navigates a highly emotional landscape – robots can’t even do simple security patrols without getting into trouble. In April, the New York Police Department cancel the program with Boston Dynamics spot dog robot, after public fears of the militarization of the police. Also known as a “Digidog,” it was designed for use in hostage situations and reconnaissance.
Plus, the restaurants and bars that we humans enjoy are actually absolute nightmares for portable machines like peanuts. Roboticists call this type of space an “unstructured” environment, where the robot has to navigate all kinds of messes, like chairs, spills, and wandering toddlers. This is in contrast to a “regulated” environment such as a factory, where a stationary robotic arm does repetitive work. Robots are great at this – they lift heavy objects, clamp or weld over and over in place with no surprises.
However, even on an automobile assembly line—the best environment for a robot to work in—machines complete human labor. Robots do the hard work, and humans do the subtle manipulations, like detail work on the inside of a car. If robots could do everything in the factory, humans could turn off the lights and go home and let machines extinguish vehicles in the dark.
“In trying to automate a process from soup to nuts, it is much more difficult than dividing the work and finding places where humans can exploit their strengths, and machines exploit their strengths,” says Eric Brynjolfsson, Director of Digital Economy. Laboratory at Stanford University. (For robots, that’s a literal strength, as well as their ability to handle repetitive tasks very consistently. And humans are better at just about everything.) “If you had that kind of division of labor,” Brynjolfsson continues, “it probably has a more agile assembly line. , more general productivity, and greater flexibility.”
So in an economic moment like this, when companies suddenly ramp up their hiring, they can’t just automate what turns out to be very complex jobs. Peanuts are rare, and they can still only transport food and soiled dishes from point A to point B.
Indeed, the primitivism of robotics makes a strong case for the value of human labor. Right now, companies are demanding this work – and there isn’t enough, which should be good for workers. “This means that workers can be more selective, presumably looking for higher wages, but also better working conditions,” says Dean Baker, chief economist at the Center for Economics and Policy Research, a nonprofit think tank. “So if there’s a place where the manager is known to be a real idiot or something, they won’t feel like they have to put up with it, because they can get unemployment benefits for a while, and then get the job that seems best to them.”