Normally, at Financial Profitude we tend to steer clear of what is considered socially "provocative". The reason? It's a sensitive topic,especially when it applies to a variety of viewpoints on both sides that put both business and worker at odds with each other. Therefore, we strive to seek a 'neutral' middle ground, which is to explain how the ever- changing world of technology can help move business (small and big) forward to continuously stay competitive and spur growth within their industry. So, why is the conversation so divisive that it could be the thing that makes humanity revolt at it's very own creation you say. Automation. We could examine this word. I prefer to get right to the point. We've been wondering since the year 2000 - "where is my flying car?" at every turn,except we never asked ourselves "how this car would actually function in the real world". Would it be something the driver controlled? Wait...would the car that I am flying need me as a driver at all? Wow! Whew! Let's back away from the Harper Lee introspective monologue (see To Kill a Mockingbird) and double back to where we are this very moment in our lives and with the current U.S. workplace: swapping manpower for automation which cost less to operate annually than a human employee in the same position(roughly $6,500 renminbi ($1057.58 USD). Back in May of this year,Panera Bread (PNRA) announced it would use kiosk instead of people to take customers orders. Warm smiles? No,press here and your meal is at the end of the counter. I guess this means no more of the grand ensemble bellow from the bright-eyed staff yelling "HOT BREAD" at the command of their team lead. You have to wonder will all of this automation - does this really reduce costs and time. Sure it will. However, the real costs will be at the expense of losing the human employee and select skills to recognize the subtle "likes" and "dislikes" of a customer. Around February of 2013,there was a Ted Talk about a robot by the name of BAXTER(skip to 4:19 to be formally introduced to the future fast food worker). Recently, there was an article about a robot butler of sorts located at the Aloft Hotel (a Sherwood Development Group) in Cupertino, California. This robot known as BOTLR can fetch all things small such as, phone chargers, snacks, toiletries, etc., It is not known as of yet if the robot will be able to head out to pick up any liquor products and the like, but the for a first generation bot like Botlr the future is pretty bright. Robert,a writer here at Financial Profitude, was surprised to hear the Bay Area company Savoike was behind the G1 robot. Conversations around the office ranged from "it's the Daleks (see Doctor Who) to "So, we're being replaced by a garbage can on wheels that may or may not be able to talk". Sure, that may be true, but looking forward into the future (cautiously) we may be
thankful such technology exists. Time will only tell. Meanwhile, automation will increase with neck-snapping speed and hopefully drive grow for companies small,big,and mid-size or we relegate these positions for human employees, because we all know what it's like to deal with a voice-automated system that asks (in the voice of siri: "I'm sorry, I didn't get that) for the 100th time.
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