Fast Food Expert Warns That Machines Are Coming for Jobs

Former McDonald’s CEO Ed Rensi appeared Friday on Fox Business and voiced opinions about the automation threat to employment.

Fmr. McDonald’s CEO: Human workers can’t compete with robot replacements, Fox Business, August 11, 2017

Former McDonald’s USA CEO Ed Rensi said regulation will force restaurants to turn to technology to make a profit.

“Not only is the minimum wage […]

Hotels and Restaurants Expand Use of Automation

Robot bellhops were introduced to the public as a coming thing in 2014 when trials began. Now they and other automated technology are becoming normalized, as reported in a CBS Los Angeles TV segment.

As is often the case, the media doesn’t know how to handle the automation issue and the CBS pirce wanders all over […]

Robot T-shirt Factory Is Planned for Arkansas

Here’s a snapshot of the automated, globalized future: a Chinese company has acquired a factory in Arkansas to produce t-shirts for the German company Adidas using robot sewing machines from Atlanta business SoftWear Automation.

Clothing manufacture is big business and is important to small, poor countries like Honduras where the income from sewing jobs helps keep many […]

Washington Post Notes Rise of Smart Machines (Incompletely)

The Washington Post included a front-page story about automation on Sunday, and it admitted “the surrender of the industrial age to the age of automation continues at a record pace.”

But the cause was mostly laid at the feet of the workers themselves rather than complex forces of globalization that have been accumulating for decades. The […]

Machines Compete in Amazon Robotic Challenge 

The latest Amazon Robotic Challenge took place over July 27-30 in Nagoya Japan, hosting a competition to develop a grasping machine that can pack boxes for shipment in the company’s warehouses. Or as ZeroHedge put it so clearly: Amazon Hosts Robotics Competition To Figure Out How To Replace 230,000 Warehouse Workers.

Amazon warehouses depend on the […]

California: Refugees Supply Cheap Labor for Meatpacking Industry

Monday’s front-pager for the Los Angeles Times is a reminder that refugees are just another variety of cheap-labor immigrants.

Meatpacking plants used to be a big magnet for illegal alien labor which was convenient for the industry, and the business recruited openly in Mexico. But in 2006, the government raided six Swift plants and carted off […]

Retail Robot Does Inventory -- So Long, Stock Boys!

In St. Louis, a midwestern grocery chain is making news with its test run of an inventory-taking robot, called Tally by its manufacturer. The machine is not unrelated to the LoweBot-type machine that guides customers to desired items in the store which the robot has filed in its database of what and where. The Tally […]

Robots Are the Next Generation of Farmworkers

It’s good to see traditional media connect the dots between automation and immigration, as the Los Angeles Times inadvertently did somewhat on Tuesday’s front page:

The online version of the article appeared last week, on Friday, July 21. An above-the-fold story with photo gets a lot more attention, certainly, as long as those newspaper boxes are sitting […]

Sewing Robot Technology Takes an Interesting Tack

Clothing manufacturers would love to economize on production with some sort of automation, but the materials used, which vary widely in terms of thickness, stretch, slickness and other qualities do not easily fit into the robot factory. The dexterity and sensitivity of the human hand has kept sewing in the human realm except for simple […]

Automation Will Revolutionize Retail for Shoppers and Workers

A recent Wall Street Journal piece framed its robot-replacing-human story by focusing on one employee who loses her job counting cash, but is moved to a greeter position at the same wage. Since the unnamed woman is 55, her gig as human greeter will likely go to a robot when she retires, if not before, […]

Coal Miners Face Replacement by Smart Machines

It was a sweet early moment in the Trump Presidency: a group of miners had been invited to the White House to watch the new Chief Executive end Obama regulations that were designed to cripple the coal industry.

Coal miner Michael Nelson thanked President Trump for keeping his election promise to help the industry’s workers.

Nelson appeared […]

Farm Robot Is Touted as Kinder to Workers

Down on the farm in Salinas California, a new robot harvester uses “water knives” — actually high-powered water jets — to pick lettuce. To hear the industry flacks describe it, the machines end unhealthy stoop labor in lettuce fields. But details in the story suggest that President Trump’s border enforcement is having an effect when […]

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