Artificial Intelligence, Robots taking our jobs and the Future of earning a paycheck
For those not following breaking news, in April 2019 Wal-Mart announced the news that serves as a turning point for the American workforce. Robots will take the place of humans and engage in routine tasks ranging from scanning shelf inventory to janitorial work.
The impact of this news cannot be understated.
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According to data published on Wal-Mart, the store employed 2.2 million associates around the world. Part-time workers account for half of Wal-Mart’s workforce according to an article published in Reuters. The United Food & Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) stated in 2015 that over 150,000 people working low wage retail jobs had its largest support base within Wal-Mart.
In a survey reported by Reuters in 2018 a Wal-Mart employee Arianna Smith, from Barstow, California informed the surveyor that the new scheduling system launched in 2016 reduced her hours from more than 40 a week to 16–24 each week prior to the robotics announcement.
According to the New York State’s Department of Labor, approximately 37,846 workers in New York (as of 7/17) receive an average of $14.10 an hour for routine repetitive tasks. These tasks include scanning inventory, store maintenance, stocking, and cleaning.
Wal-Mart is a bit ambiguous on the number of workers that will be affected by this change. As a public company whose stock prices swings with good/bad news, it is important that public backlash be minimal.
After all, imagine news breaking that states the following:
Wal-Mart intends to replace nearly 700,000 employees with robotics that will cut cost of labor, improve profitability, and signal an increase in poverty.
I am not being dramatic. Think about the impact of Wal-mart’s activities. Then extrapolate the effect into other retailers such as Target, Sam’s Club, Kohl’s, Sears, et cetera.
Take it one step further to smaller retailers.
According to data published by Select USA total sales from nearly 3.8 million US retail establishments reached nearly $2.6 trillion in 2016. Retailers employ 29 million individuals (nearly 10% of our population) and support more than 42 million jobs in the U.S. This data is compiled from the National Retail Federation, as reported on Select USA.
To put these numbers in prospective the subsector of retailers employs approximately one out of five Americans. A subsector targeted for job replacement by robots.
According to the National Retail Federation, independent and privately held retail businesses account for about 95 percent of the retail industry. Retail stores are the face of the industry; however, online sales continue to drive the success of the retail industry. These sites are currently managed by people; however, Artificial Intelligence applications are being developed to manage these sites without human interactions.
Robotics is taking aim at eliminating a physical workforce. Artificial Intelligence is being programmed to remove Information Technology Experts who manage online sales.
Ladies and gentlemen robotics and artificial intelligence is systematically stripping away the vast majority of our population’s ability to earn a living.
This is both terrifying and enlightening at the same time.
FEAR THE FUTURE
Fear states a large part of America won’t have a job in 50 years. Poverty rates will soar at astounding rates. Eliminating non-technical jobs means the vast majority of the current American workforce doesn’t have a job.
Why use a construction worker when a robot can work through all elements, not take a break, and there is no hazard risk?
Why use a banker to risk the chance of identity theft when a robotic station can serve the needs of ordering checks, opening accounts, inputting information and placing wires?
Why have someone cleaned your store when a robot cleans it 24 hours a day at no cost?
In a future where people choose to increase profits, lower bottom lines and eliminate liability (from workers compensation or discrimination suits) the cost is an impoverishment.
ENLIGHTENMENT THE FUTURE
Enlightenment occurs if society adapts properly to robots for improving the human condition.
It is possible homeless people could be eliminated (despite having fewer jobs) because robots free of charge construct “permitted” housing. Robots could administer health services without human interaction. Malpractice lawsuits could vanish if robots are the service providers of health. Robots are more precise, functional and impersonal. From a housing perspective, a little bit of research demonstrates the materials cost 1/3 of the final house product. 2/3 of a house cost is people’s time. Labor is the driving factor for the price, not materials.
Real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and appraisal agents could be eliminated by programming online applications to perform services. We already interact with applications such as “Rocket Mortgage”. Why use a realtor? Why use a mortgage broker? Why use a construction crew?
In a world of robotic construction workers, real estate could be 1/3 the cost. The cost could be lower if we utilize pre-fabricated strategies. A $500,000 mansion could be constructed for less than $100,000. If pre-fabricated construction is combined with robotic assemblers most of our premium disappears.
If we focus on societal welfare, the standard of humanity and morality the wave of the future could be purpose versus jobs.
IDEALISTIC OR PROPHETIC
Does this sound idealistic?
Well, let me enlighten you to a man called Ray Kurzweil.
Ray Kurzweil predictions are astoundingly accurate. Ray Kurzweil is considered a Nostradamus for the Digital Age. Ray thinks machines will be smarter than humans in just a few years. Ray Kurzweil turned 70 in 2018. Ray famously predicted the Technological Singularity — the crucial moment when machines become smarter than humans. According to Ray the Technological Singularity will occur in our lifetime. This may seem incredible but Ray has made many outrageous predictions over the years with astounding accuracy.
To be exact Ray has an 86 percent success rate, according to Futurism.
What does Ray predict?
Well, you just read my article. According to Ray’s predictions, all our jobs will be replaced in the next 70 years. The real question I pose…
“Will Robotic Advancement in Artificial Intelligence be a future of Fear or Enlightenment?”
Time will tell. I’ll plan on Fear and hope for Enlightenment. Invest in sound technology and capitalize while you still can. I’m certain time will come where even investment middle space markets will be closed off by efficiency, strategy and non-human emotion.
To your knowledge success!
About Christopher: Christopher Knight Lopez is a Professional Entrepreneur. Christopher has opened over 7 businesses in his 14-year career. Christopher’s purpose is to take advantage of various market-driven opportunities. Christopher is a certified Master Project Manager (MPM) and Accredited Financial Analyst (AFA). Christopher previously held his Series 65 securities license. Christopher also has his General Lines — Life, Accident, Health & HMO. Christopher has managed a combined 286mm USD in reported Assets Under Management & Assets Under Advisement. Christopher has work experience in 29 countries, raised over 50mm USD for various businesses, and grossed over 7.5mm in his personal career. Christopher worked in the highly technical industries of biotechnology, finance, securities, manufacturing, real estate, and residential mortgages. Christopher is a United States Air Force Veteran. Christopher has a passion for family, competitive sports, fishing, martial arts and advocacy for entrepreneurs. Christopher provides self-help classes for up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Christopher’s passion to mentor comes from the belief that entrepreneurs need guidance. The world is full of conflicting information about entrepreneur identity. See more at www.christopherklopez.com.