December 18, 2011
It won’t be all that long before robots like Asimo here will be in restaurants across the country cooking your food, taking your order, waiting on your table, and washing your dirty dishes. It’ll leave a lot of people unemployed, but I really hope to see the day when robots can manage a restaurant entirely on their own, with no human intervention. If I live to a normal age of around 80, I have about fifty years or so. I think it’s plausible that I’ll see it happen. If I were to guess though, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it much sooner than that.
You can’t watch videos of Willow Garage’s PR2 system and not realize that robots will soon be able to handle mundane, unskilled tasks and do them far more effectively than humans.
Imagine the future McDonalds. I could see a fully automated store with robots capable of making Big Macs and Quarter pounders far faster than humans, and with perfect consistency. McDonalds execs will no longer have to traumatize teenagers with their first jobs. What will they use to scare them into college?
My first job was at Burger King at age 16. It was a nightmare. Years ago I gathered up all my memories of that experience and put them into this here. I’ll feel lonely though. I’ll be the last of a dying breed of people who had to do horrible menial labor for slave wages. I’ve never served in the military, but I think my BK experience is about the next best thing to sharing war stories. That was some 14 years ago, but I remember it very vividly, even today.