Amazon Go: The high tech future of retail arrives today in San Francisco.
The new artificial intelligence skynet driven mini-grocery store with no cashiers, no self checkout stations. Just scan your phone, the QR code from Amazon’s Go app tied to your Amazon account at the turnstile, take anything you want from the shelf, put it anywhere, and then just walk out. Its the fastest way to do retail.
I’m sitting in a chair at a table inside the new Amazon Go store thinking about the future. I counted at least 20 Amazon employees working today at the Amazon Go store, many of them outside welcoming guests, making sure guests had the Amazon Go on their phone. If you don’t want to use your mobile data plan to download the app you can use the free wifi provided by Amazon Go.
Amazon Go is a mini-grocery store, I guess it competes in size & convenient locations with 7-eleven, and it competes in terms of Grocery items with the Trader Joes, Safeways and even Targets, but it’s over staffed compared to a 7-eleven that operates with 1–3 employees at the most.
At Amazon Go you can buy a frozen Stouffer’s Lasagna for $3.99 US Dollars, the same one that Target sells online for $2.69, and you can cook it in the microwave in the store, and sit down and eat it with chairs, tables, utensils and napkins freely available.
There is no self-checkout like at Target stores, you never get out cash, you never enter a pincode to use your atm card. It’s just this very automatic purchase, you walk in, you pick whatever items you want, you can put them into your pockets immediately, you can put them into your bag, you can buy a disposable bag for 10 cents or a reusable bag for a little bit more. Personally I bring my back pack with me in San Francisco everyday because its better than using the ugly reusable bags sold by grocery stores Amazon included. ;)
Lunch, and where people eat it, has become a big topic of conversation in San Francisco. In the week since Supervisors…www.sfchronicle.com
Corrupt San Francisco City officials taking money from San Francisco’s Restuarant Industry to ban employee cafes in San Francisco should again be upset about these new Amazon Go stores that are set to be rolling out all over the place, because why is the average San Francisco worker going to pay $14 for a burrito from a food truck plus $6 dollars for a drink when you buy cook and eat your food inside an Amazon Go at grocery store prices? For example the Chobani Greek Yogurt I purchased was $1 dollar. The Clif Bar was $1.25. and if I add the lasagna that brings my total $6.24. Amazon Go stores make eating in San Francisco cheap and affordable.
The fact that San Francisco is one of the most expensive places to live is because of corrupt city officials and hustlers who own local business’s, ostensibly trying to cash in on the rich and wealthy, but with the real world result being that they are taking too much money from regular people who have been hyped & hustled by a false narrative. There is no rational reason why San Francisco needs to have a shortage of affordable housing and a super high cost for living.
How then is Amazon any more innocent in this grand game of predatory capitalism? One could argue that Amazon is just a bigger fish, shaking the foundations of global markets, threatening to drive out the “smaller” corporations like Sears, Toys ‘R’ US, 7-eleven, Trader Joes, Safeway, Target, Walmart etc.. You know the smaller mom & pop fortune 500 corporations ;)
This might be the first retail store that is impervious to theft, how can you steal when cameras notice everything you touch and tie it to your credit card. Thieves will have to resort to wearing Spiderman costumes, leaping over turnstyles, knowing what they want and where it is before they even walk in, and essentially running out again for police to give chase, but AI can even identify you when you are wearing a costume. AI can identify your gait, your unique way of walking can identify you, so costumes won’t really help. So then the thief will be left to resort to low tech markets, like farmer’s markets, to steal food from, until they too are tracking your every movement with cameras and AI.
The potential world, as I see it, is one in where artificial intelligence is able to automate society so well, so efficiently, so cheaply, that humans won’t need money anymore, or at least we won’t need more than a government issued basic income that allows the market to function the way it always has, while instead relying upon the labor of machines instead of man for all products and all services.
Also see my story about Creator the restuarant where a robot that makes hamburgers and CafeX the cafe where a robot makes coffee. https://medium.com/silicon-valley-global-news/cafe-x-creator-936c63051f7