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So I keep seeing this BS on my news feed:


The installation of self-serve kiosks has little to do with minimum wage increases.

Let's look at one of the first articles published on this topic from the Financial Times (from Google's web cache since the original is behind a paywall):


McDonald’s does not expect any reduction in staffing as a result of the changes. “In fact the business is growing so we would expect to see an increase in overall staff numbers and we’re still on track to create an additional 15,000 new jobs in Europe in 2011,” it said.

That article is a bit old, and they have been out for a while.  How have they been doing since then? Not so well, it seems.  By all accounts, they're slower than human cashiers, but that's besides the point.  They'll get better, and faster.

In the mean time, it seems McDonalds may actually increase their staffing because of this if they can actually make the kiosks faster and better since the actual making of food still requires humans, and if they can take more orders per hour, they'll need more people in back making the food.

The truth is, this was inevitable, even if McDonalds employed slaves.  Robots and computers are always cheaper than humans, and more reliable.  Eventually, everything will automated, except, perhaps artistic works (hey, art majors, you'll finally be valuable--just give it time).

The robot revolution isn't going to happen in some Skynet like manner wiping out humanity like in Terminator.  It will happen little by little as they take over more tasks in our lives, eventually leading to humanity's permanent retirement.  This will actually be a good thing as it will mean we will no longer be wage slaves.  Admittedly, getting to that point may not be so pleasant.


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