That's a heck of a lot of pickles. Someone who likes that many pickles should bring their own jar of them. A robot could be trained for extra pickles, but how much is extra? I'll take some burger with my pickles!
@elizabethv I agree. I would think the cost to completely replace humans with machines for jobs like you mention in the fast food industry would outweigh the benefits gained.
Kitchens would need to be reconfigured not only for the necessary computing machinery to run the AI, but also for the mechanical functionality involved in automating the food prep process.
Completely eliminating humans would mean implementing machinery to handle the hand-off of the prepared food to the customer. Otherwise, you still need employees to perform that function; since companies have to pay at least a minimum wage, it strikes me that there is a point where AI & automation become added costs that outweigh the benefits they might provide.
Even if it could all be done - companies would need to then employ skilled programmers & mechanics for operation, maintenance, & repairs. All of this while probably compromising customer satisfaction, because the likelihood of something like that running seamlessly without a need for human assistance seems rather unlikely in practical terms.
I think there's a tendency to conflate "AI" and automation.
Using artificial intelligence doesn't necessarily mean that jobs performed by humans will be done by machines instead - AI can be incorporated into the tools/machines/processes that humans are using.
For example, using AI to help determine inventory won't replace the people needed to approve the orders, make the payments, pack & transport the product, and stock it on the shelves - but it could be used to help predict market demand, cost of materials, more granular transportation costs (e.g., accounting for changing costs of fuel, seasonal impacts on transit time, etc.) and other variables that could impact the bottom line.
AI is such a double edge sword. On on hand, the potential for AI is immense. However, I think we often take too lightly the fact that machines taking over could actually happen. Skynet isn't fiction for long.
elizabethv 8/16/2017 8:21:30 AM User Rank Platinum
Re: AI: Seizing the Prize
@srufolo1 - Lol, my husband says we can never eat at Sonic Drive-In because I always have to comment on something. The other part of robots making people happy would come into play with the specificity some customers have. I remember a customer that sent their burger back 3 times because they asked for extra pickles, and each time he wanted more pickles. So even us humans ended up having a hard time meeting his demand of extra pickles. (In the end he was literally satisfied with an entire handful of pickles on his burger, and the cook had big hands. How that was satisfying, I'll never know. But he stopped complaining after that.)
@elizabethv First, I am impressed with your fast food experience and your knowledge of technology. I agree. What can replace customer complaints, etc ... However, I think that's what we are working toward. In another 100 years, robots will be programmed to do all that. Maybe not on a human level emotionally. But maybe they'll, for instance, know how to replae the order that was not unacceptable and replace it with something that satisfies the customer. But by then we'll probably be eating Soylent Green anyway.
elizabethv 8/11/2017 9:38:30 AM User Rank Platinum
Re: AI: Seizing the Prize
@srufolo1 - I saw a meme I think once, that if they could replace menial jobs like grocery store clerks and fast food workers with machines, they would have already done it. And I think that's largely true. No matter how good AI gets, while it may be able to replace a few people, I really can't see their ability to completely replace those roles. I have 10 years (really bragging here) fast food experience on my resume. There is a lot of critical thought necessary to be able to do those jobs well (please note the WELL.) And dealing with customer complaints for screw ups (I was management for 8 of those 10 years) is not something that would work if all your employees are robots.