General Automation Thread

N&P: Discuss governments, nations, politics and recent related news here.

Moderators: Alyrium Denryle, SCRawl, Thanas, Edi, K. A. Pital

Post Reply
User avatar
FaxModem1
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 6633
Joined: 2002-10-30 06:40pm
Location: In a dark reflection of a better world

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-07-03 08:21am

Gandalf wrote:
2018-07-03 08:10am
Not necessarily. There's a lot of little variables, like the ability to PR something away, and the promise of what's coming.

If you told everyone that in five years time, taxis would be automated and fares would halve, I wager a lot of stuff would be accepted for sheer convenience. As a society, we're pretty ready to ignore a lot if it means things are cheaper and easier.
Well, if deaths are higher than people driving the things, I'm not sure if people would accept it so readily. Unless there's a huge disconnect between what's really going on and what's being reported.
Image

User avatar
Gandalf
SD.net White Wizard
Posts: 14476
Joined: 2002-09-16 11:13pm
Location: A video store in Sydney, Australia

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Gandalf » 2018-07-04 06:25pm

Then it will presumably be justified using the same means people use to justify sweatshop or other horrifically produced consumer goods.
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

- A.B. Original, Report to the Mist

"I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately."
- George Carlin

User avatar
His Divine Shadow
Commence Primary Ignition
Posts: 11857
Joined: 2002-07-03 07:22am
Location: Vasa, Finland

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by His Divine Shadow » 2018-07-06 01:39pm

Thought this was a hilarious (tongue in cheek) comparison between Silicon Valley and the Soviet Union
https://twitter.com/atroyn/status/1014974099930714115?
Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who did not.

User avatar
FaxModem1
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 6633
Joined: 2002-10-30 06:40pm
Location: In a dark reflection of a better world

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-07-18 05:03pm

The Guardian
Robot workers will lead to surge in slavery in south-east Asia, report finds
Research shows risk of trafficking will rise, as automation pushes low-skilled workers into ‘race to the bottom’ for jobs

Modern-day slavery in focus is supported by
Humanity United About this content
Annie Kelly

Thu 12 Jul 2018 02.00 EDT Last modified on Thu 12 Jul 2018 02.26 EDT
Shares
284
Garment workers in Vietnam
Garment workers in Vietnam. This year the first ‘sewbot’ factory starts production, in the US, with no human operators. Photograph: Hau Dinh/AP
Robots will slash millions of jobs and create an upswing in trafficking and slavery across south-east Asia, research claims.

In a report launched on Thursday, supply-chain analyst firm predicts that the rise in robot manufacturing will have a knock-on effect that results not only in lost livelihoods but in a spike in slavery and labour abuses in brand supply chains.

Earlier this year, the UN International Labour Organisation predicted that in south Asia’s key manufacturing hubs in Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam could lose their jobs over the next two decades due to automation.

“There has been a lot of discussion about the impact of robot automation on jobs but less on the resulting human rights abuses that are likely to follow,” said Dr Alex Channer, analyst at Verisk Maplecroft.

“We know that in a couple of decades, robot manufacturing will replace many low-skill jobs. Displaced workers without the skills or capacity to adapt will have to compete for a rapidly diminishing supply of low-paid work in potentially exploitative conditions. This will lead to increased risks of slavery and trafficking across a region already vulnerable to these kind of abuses.”

Automation is already revolutionising manufacturing and lowering labour costs for industries across the world. The International Federation of Robotics estimates that next year another 250,000 industrial robots will come on to the market, with the capability to help produce cars, electronics and new machinery.

Robots are already in production that will replace workers in while analysts at Citibank estimate that automation technology could help footwear brands reduce labour costs by 50% and cut material costs by 20%, as well as expand product ranges and speed up lead times.

This year the world’s first “sewbot” factory in the US will begin production, with robots sewing garments without human operators. It is thought that each sewbot machine could potentially do the work of 10 people.

Yet, Channer said it would be a mistake for brands not to recognise the consequences of the changes.

“Businesses may argue that they are not responsible for the knock-on effects of the rise of automation, but robots will never completely replace workers. People will still have to find work just further down supply chains, where abuses are more likely to occur and regulation and worker rights can be more easily ignored.”

Manufacturing hubs in south-east Asia are seen to be particularly at risk from potential labour abuses rising from the onset of automation manufacturing because of the high dependence on low-skilled jobs and existing high levels of labour violations.

Thailand’s fishing industry is heavily linked to slavery and labour abuses and the electronics sector in Malaysia, which accounts for , has faced international scrutiny for its treatment of migrant workers.

In 2014 a report by supply chain watchdog Verité found that nearly one third of workers in Malaysia’s electronics sector were in forced labour, and called for reforms from foreign companies operating there.

“In an environment like south-east Asia where workers are already vulnerable to labour abuses, increased competition for remaining jobs will see workers having to accept jobs at lower wages, pay more in recruitment fees and be forced to work in more dangerous and exploitative workplaces.”

Sectors identified by Verisk Maplecroft as being particularly at risk included agriculture, fishing, manufacturing, retail and electronics.

Of the five countries deemed most likely to be affected by job losses, the report predicts that Vietnam will suffer worst, with 36 million people estimated to be replaced with robots.

Women will also be disproportionately affected in the garment, textile and footwear industry. In Vietnam and Cambodia, 85% of jobs in this sector are potentially at risk, with more than 75% of these held by women.

Verisk Maplecroft say that both businesses and governments need to work urgently to mitigate the potentially catastrophic consequences of automation on the 156 million people whose jobs are likely to be under threat in the coming decades.
Essentially, the developing world is going to be worst hit by automation, and it's not going to be pretty.
Image

User avatar
FaxModem1
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 6633
Joined: 2002-10-30 06:40pm
Location: In a dark reflection of a better world

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-08-02 04:22pm

We had discussions about Jack in the Box, now for McDonald's.

CNBC
McDonald's to add self-order kiosks to 1,000 stores each quarter
McDonald's will upgrade 1,000 stores with kiosk and mobile order technology every quarter for the next eight to nine quarters.
International markets like Canada, Australia and the U.K. are already fully integrated with kiosk service and mobile ordering.
McDonald's has also been exploring delivery in the U.S. in an attempt to meet customer demand and changes in how consumers want to get their food.
Sarah Whitten | @sarahwhit10
Published 9:53 AM ET Mon, 4 June 2018 Updated 5:10 PM ET Mon, 4 June 2018
CNBC.com
McDonald's CEO: Offering customers new ordering options McDonald's CEO: Offering customers new ordering options
9:50 AM ET Mon, 4 June 2018 | 03:00
As McDonald's seeks to modernize its business, the company is placing a big bet on mobile and other tech platforms.

McDonald's has been systematically adding self-service ordering kiosks and table service to stores as it works to "build a better McDonald's."

"What we're finding is when people dwell more, they select more," CEO Steve Easterbrook told CNBC on "Squawk on the Street" on Monday. "There's a little bit of an average check boost."

In fact, the company plans to upgrade 1,000 stores with this technology every quarter for the next eight to nine quarters.


"If you think about only two years ago, if you were a customer there were two ways you can get served at McDonald's," Easterbrook said. "You walked to the front counter and line up and take your drink and find a table or you go through the drive through. We're introducing many options. They can order through mobile, they can come curbside and we'll run it out as well as the existing traditional ways. You can pay in different ways and customize your food in different ways. I think we're trying to add more choice and variety."

International markets like Canada, Australia and the U.K. are already fully integrated with kiosk service and mobile ordering. Locations in France and Germany, too, are almost completely transformed with this new technology.

"The U.S. is a little bit behind," Easterbrook said.

The burger giant has also been exploring delivery in the U.S. in an attempt to meet customer demand and changes in how consumers want to get their food.

McDonald's already has a large delivery presence in Asia, which accounts for 10 percent of system sales in that market, and is hoping to capitalize on the growing industry demand by offering delivery in the U.S. It is currently testing out several models, both in-house and via third-party providers.

The company has previously stated that 75 percent of the population in its top five markets — the U.S., France, the U.K., Germany and Canada — are within three miles of a McDonald's and 85 percent are within five miles of a chain.
So, McDonald's is making kiosks standard for their restaurants, as well as adding delivery options people can do on their phones. (Probably to undercut the Ubereats app that's delivering their food). They are arguing that it's a way to have their people focusing on other areas of the restaurant(food preparation) rather than job replacement. However, Forbes is pointing out that this limits job growth opportunities:
McDonald's Says Goodbye Cashiers, Hello Kiosks
Ed Rensi
Ed Rensi
Contributor
i
Policy




McDonald's Self Ordering Kiosk (Wall Street Journal, Kevin Hagen)WALL STREET JOURNAL

“Would you like fries with that?” may soon be a phrase of the past.

As minimum wage levels approach or surpass $15 nationwide, restaurant customers expecting to be greeted by a smiling face will instead be welcomed by a glowing LED screen.

As of 2020, self-service ordering kiosks will be implemented at all U.S. McDonald’s locations. Other chains, including fast-casual brands like Panera and casual-dining brands like Chili's, have already embraced this trend. Some restaurant concepts have even automated the food-preparation process; earlier this year, NBC News profiled "Flippy," a robot hamburger flipper. Other upcoming concepts include virtual restaurants which eliminate the need for full-service restaurants (and staff) by only offering home delivery.


While some consumers may appreciate the novelty or added convenience, the conveniences come at the cost of entry-level jobs.

My concern about this is personal. Without my opportunity to start as a grill man, I would have never ended up running one of largest fast food chains in the world. I started working at McDonald’s making the minimum wage of 85 cents an hour. I worked hard and earned a promotion to restaurant manager within just one year, then went on to hold almost every position available throughout the company, eventually rising to CEO of McDonalds USA.

The kind of job that allowed me and many others to rise through the ranks is now being threatened by a rising minimum wage that’s pricing jobs out of the market. Without sacrificing food quality or taste, or abandoning the much-loved value menu, franchise owners must keep labor costs under control. One way to combat rising labor costs is by reducing the amount of employees needed.


This trend is nothing new. Chains have responded to rising labor costs and technological advancement accordingly and McDonald's has been leading the way as a pioneer in productivity among employees, concepts, and machines. From the invention of the “Speedee Service System” to the famous Multimixer shake machine, these innovations have reduced the labor needed to increase output levels and made employees’ jobs easier in the process.

These innovations dating back to McDonald’s founding were not intended to reduce the number of employees; rather, they were designed to make employees more efficient at their jobs. The introduction of self-service ordering tablets has been presented in a similar manner. However, with labor costs continuing to skyrocket, it’s inevitable that restaurants and other fast food chains will continuously search for ways to reduce labor costs--particularly as customers get comfortable with new technology.

The research supports my concerns. A 2017 study by economists David Neumark and Grace Lordan finds a minimum-wage related increase in unemployment among employees who previously held jobs susceptible to automation. Younger workers were some of the hardest hit by this outcome, which shouldn't be surprising; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly half of minimum wage workers are between the ages of 16 and 24.

Pricing young job seekers out of the market and a weekly paycheck is just one immediate effect of an increasing minimum wage. A study by University of Virginia and Middle Tennessee State University economists found that teenagers who held part-time jobs in school had annual earnings that were 20 percent higher than their counterparts without experience six to nine years after graduation.

These entry level jobs such as flipping burgers or taking customers orders teach teens valuable jobs skills such as customer service and applying basic math skills. Skills that could ultimately lead to the career stepping stones for a working teenager to become an engineer or accountant.

Technological innovation can and has helped employees work more comfortably and efficiently, but when outside intervention forces higher labor costs onto restaurant owners, they will innovate in ways that replace employees instead of empowering them.
So, a more convenient system, and if Flippy does eventually pan out, we could see McDonald's restaurants not be viewed as a career path(if it ever was one), but as an automated system that eliminates entry jobs. The line being said is that this will not eliminate jobs. Which if true, means that it won't do that, but will eliminate the possibility of careers.

Essentially, the higher corporate jobs are safe, but for those who want to work at a franchise, they will slowly see their work load decline. A good thing, unless the company starts cutting jobs as well due to costs.
Image

User avatar
Zaune
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 6140
Joined: 2010-06-21 11:05am
Location: In Transit
Contact:

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Zaune » 2018-08-02 09:35pm

What the second article is glossing over is that these automated kiosks are only really viable on a fairly large scale. They're expensive if you're not buying them in large numbers, they need some sort of ongoing IT support contract, they take up a lot of space and they're only really beneficial if you have more people in the queue than the front-of-house staff can keep track of. What good is that to an independent takeout business that only has one cashier and two cooks in the back and does half their business over the phone or through Just Eat?

And I can't speak for the rest of the world, but in the UK you can find at least six such independent places for every Maccies. You don't need to sign up for a franchise to sell cheeseburgers.
There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Replace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


Like my writing? Tip me on Patreon

I Have A Blog

User avatar
FaxModem1
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 6633
Joined: 2002-10-30 06:40pm
Location: In a dark reflection of a better world

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-08-03 06:58am

Zaune wrote:
2018-08-02 09:35pm
What the second article is glossing over is that these automated kiosks are only really viable on a fairly large scale. They're expensive if you're not buying them in large numbers, they need some sort of ongoing IT support contract, they take up a lot of space and they're only really beneficial if you have more people in the queue than the front-of-house staff can keep track of. What good is that to an independent takeout business that only has one cashier and two cooks in the back and does half their business over the phone or through Just Eat?

And I can't speak for the rest of the world, but in the UK you can find at least six such independent places for every Maccies. You don't need to sign up for a franchise to sell cheeseburgers.
Considering this is about McDonald's, I doubt they're too worried about independent fast food restaurants. Especially as McDonald's is freaking everywhere, and this would only be renovating existing restaurants.
Image

User avatar
Zaune
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 6140
Joined: 2010-06-21 11:05am
Location: In Transit
Contact:

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Zaune » 2018-08-03 07:51am

I wouldn't be so sure of that. Their market-share took a pretty serious kicking in the wake of Super-Size Me! and it's only just back to where it was, at least in this country. Nor are they all that competitive on price: I can get a cheeseburger, chips and a soda for the same price (give or take fifty pence) in about a dozen different places within a few miles of where I live, and the food is likely to be equal or better quality.
There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Replace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


Like my writing? Tip me on Patreon

I Have A Blog

Ralin
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2365
Joined: 2008-08-28 04:23am

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Ralin » 2018-08-03 12:04pm

Zaune wrote:
2018-08-03 07:51am
I wouldn't be so sure of that. Their market-share took a pretty serious kicking in the wake of Super-Size Me! and it's only just back to where it was, at least in this country. Nor are they all that competitive on price: I can get a cheeseburger, chips and a soda for the same price (give or take fifty pence) in about a dozen different places within a few miles of where I live, and the food is likely to be equal or better quality.
And I can get similar food for as much as half the price or better here in mainland China. Much less all sorts of great but less addictive native food. That's just one country mind, but it's a big one and they're competing as much on brand name, standardization and efficiency as anything. And last I heard they were trailing behind KFC.

FYI every McDonald's I've been to here in the past year had the kiosks, and I doubt food delivery services in general are cheaper and better anywhere else in the world.

User avatar
FaxModem1
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 6633
Joined: 2002-10-30 06:40pm
Location: In a dark reflection of a better world

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-08-03 02:58pm

Ralin wrote:
2018-08-03 12:04pm
Zaune wrote:
2018-08-03 07:51am
I wouldn't be so sure of that. Their market-share took a pretty serious kicking in the wake of Super-Size Me! and it's only just back to where it was, at least in this country. Nor are they all that competitive on price: I can get a cheeseburger, chips and a soda for the same price (give or take fifty pence) in about a dozen different places within a few miles of where I live, and the food is likely to be equal or better quality.
And I can get similar food for as much as half the price or better here in mainland China. Much less all sorts of great but less addictive native food. That's just one country mind, but it's a big one and they're competing as much on brand name, standardization and efficiency as anything. And last I heard they were trailing behind KFC.

FYI every McDonald's I've been to here in the past year had the kiosks, and I doubt food delivery services in general are cheaper and better anywhere else in the world.
So, due to the high cost of kiosks, would you say that McDonald's is shooting itself in the foot compared to individual entrepreneurs in the same neighborhood as their locations?
Image

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12297
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-08-03 03:05pm

One way I can see the kiosk thing going is that it might bring more franchise restaurants under the direct control of the corporation. The corporation can afford to buy kiosks and fire a bunch of employees. Smaller franchises won't be able to do that. As such they may either have to raise prices, run less of a profit, or run short-handed. Either way, it could well hurt their business, and if they end up going under, the corporation probably has the option to assume control of the franchise if it wants to.

That said, I would fully expect to see a lot of small franchise owned national restaurants end up converting to a mom-and-pop chain... in urban areas anyway. Out in the country, they're probably fucked.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

Ralin
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2365
Joined: 2008-08-28 04:23am

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Ralin » 2018-08-03 03:13pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2018-08-03 02:58pm

So, due to the high cost of kiosks, would you say that McDonald's is shooting itself in the foot compared to individual entrepreneurs in the same neighborhood as their locations?
No, because I don't have the numbers but I can't imagine that McDonald's hasn't crunched the data on how much they speed up the ordering process and how much money they make off of the added efficiency.

Also McDonald's is, like, fancy fast food here. Same as how Pizza Hut managed to position themselves as a relatively upscale chain here, and was also the first place where I ever ate escargot.

Plus I imagine that the the kiosks themselves are an attraction because really how many fast food restaurants have something like that? And ubiquitous phone based payment methods like Wechat and Alipay just make the whole process easier.

Though that said from what I've seen they have about as many cashiers as McDonald's restaurants in the US do. Seems like more of a supplement than a replacement. But then, North America has higher labor costs compared to a country where it's apparently practical to hire someone who failed their high school entrance exam to stand in front of a store or in-store display clapping their hands to attract customers and what not.

It's 3:00 AM and this post may be more rambling than I intended.

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12297
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-08-03 03:18pm

Yes, I would fully expect international McD's to be a rather different scene from the US McD's due to different contexts. Phone payment isn't very common here in most areas, for example, and a lot of people still pay with cash, so you still need someone up front to handle cash.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

User avatar
Zaune
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 6140
Joined: 2010-06-21 11:05am
Location: In Transit
Contact:

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Zaune » 2018-08-03 04:37pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2018-08-03 02:58pm
So, due to the high cost of kiosks, would you say that McDonald's is shooting itself in the foot compared to individual entrepreneurs in the same neighborhood as their locations?
I wouldn't go that far, but I don't think they're going to have particularly huge benefits relative to their up-front and ongoing costs by themselves, even if they do speed the queue along.

Now when they start automating the actual kitchens, that's a different story.
There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Replace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


Like my writing? Tip me on Patreon

I Have A Blog

User avatar
FaxModem1
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 6633
Joined: 2002-10-30 06:40pm
Location: In a dark reflection of a better world

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-08-03 05:02pm

Zaune wrote:
2018-08-03 04:37pm
FaxModem1 wrote:
2018-08-03 02:58pm
So, due to the high cost of kiosks, would you say that McDonald's is shooting itself in the foot compared to individual entrepreneurs in the same neighborhood as their locations?
I wouldn't go that far, but I don't think they're going to have particularly huge benefits relative to their up-front and ongoing costs by themselves, even if they do speed the queue along.

Now when they start automating the actual kitchens, that's a different story.
So, until then, it won't be a concern for those employed at McDonald's? Or if it is, a minor concern?
Image

User avatar
Zaune
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 6140
Joined: 2010-06-21 11:05am
Location: In Transit
Contact:

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Zaune » 2018-08-03 08:23pm

Based on my admittedly limited experience with seeing the self-serve kiosks in use, yes. To my recollection you still have to go up to someone at the counter if you want to pay with cash, and even if and when they're refitted with slots to push coins and notes into there will still be a need for people to check the ticket they print out before handing over the meal. And there are usually at least three staff in the kitchen for every cashier anyway.
There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Replace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


Like my writing? Tip me on Patreon

I Have A Blog

User avatar
FaxModem1
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 6633
Joined: 2002-10-30 06:40pm
Location: In a dark reflection of a better world

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-08-03 08:39pm

Zaune wrote:
2018-08-03 08:23pm
Based on my admittedly limited experience with seeing the self-serve kiosks in use, yes. To my recollection you still have to go up to someone at the counter if you want to pay with cash, and even if and when they're refitted with slots to push coins and notes into there will still be a need for people to check the ticket they print out before handing over the meal. And there are usually at least three staff in the kitchen for every cashier anyway.
If the machine is working, you can pay with a card right at the kiosk. That's dependent on the card reader working though.

Edit: though that makes it seem like cash is on the way out anyway.
Image

User avatar
K. A. Pital
Glamorous Commie
Posts: 20248
Joined: 2003-02-26 11:39am
Location: Elysium

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-08-04 12:03pm

You do not need a person at the counter if you pay without cash, and the people who hand out ready meals are normally also active inside the restaurant area, they just see the order numbers trickle through the system.
Lì ci sono chiese, macerie, moschee e questure, lì frontiere, prezzi inaccessibile e freddure
Lì paludi, minacce, cecchini coi fucili, documenti, file notturne e clandestini
Qui incontri, lotte, passi sincronizzati, colori, capannelli non autorizzati,
Uccelli migratori, reti, informazioni, piazze di Tutti i like pazze di passioni...

...La tranquillità è importante ma la libertà è tutto!
Assalti Frontali

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12297
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-08-04 05:57pm

The downside to the cash/card debate is that in the US at least, quite a lot of people still deal in cash almost exclusively. Oh they have bank accounts and all that, but quite a few people don't, and they will cash their paychecks, put some in the proverbial sock under the mattress, and use the rest for living expenses. Bill to pay? Go to the local office and pay it. More people are having bank accounts now, mind, because 'free checking' is still a thing, and that's become the norm I think in most areas. And of course in for example rural areas where you might only go to the store once every few weeks and do all your errands at the same time, online bill pay is convenient.

Anyway what that means is that in the US you definitely have to have a cash option. In some areas it's not as big of a deal-- think upper class high tech areas like San Francisco or NYC-- but it's definitely important to be able to handle cash at any time. There are certainly limitations (see gas stations with "No Bills over $50 after 10 PM" signs, for example) but in general any retail establishment targeted towards a broad bracket of customers needs to be able to handle cash on a regular basis. And while machines can do it, you still need someone to kick the machine every now and then and to supplement it if it's not meeting demand. Doesn't necessarily mean you have to have dedicated cashiers, though.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14996
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-08-04 06:13pm

On the subject of mitigating the effects of automation, Ontario has just discontinued its basic income test program- thanks a bunch, Doug Ford voters. Hopefully BC will go ahead with there's, which is currently under consideration.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

User avatar
Zaune
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 6140
Joined: 2010-06-21 11:05am
Location: In Transit
Contact:

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Zaune » 2018-08-04 06:41pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-08-04 05:57pm
The downside to the cash/card debate is that in the US at least, quite a lot of people still deal in cash almost exclusively. Oh they have bank accounts and all that, but quite a few people don't, and they will cash their paychecks, put some in the proverbial sock under the mattress, and use the rest for living expenses. Bill to pay? Go to the local office and pay it. More people are having bank accounts now, mind, because 'free checking' is still a thing, and that's become the norm I think in most areas. And of course in for example rural areas where you might only go to the store once every few weeks and do all your errands at the same time, online bill pay is convenient.

Anyway what that means is that in the US you definitely have to have a cash option. In some areas it's not as big of a deal-- think upper class high tech areas like San Francisco or NYC-- but it's definitely important to be able to handle cash at any time. There are certainly limitations (see gas stations with "No Bills over $50 after 10 PM" signs, for example) but in general any retail establishment targeted towards a broad bracket of customers needs to be able to handle cash on a regular basis. And while machines can do it, you still need someone to kick the machine every now and then and to supplement it if it's not meeting demand. Doesn't necessarily mean you have to have dedicated cashiers, though.
That's still true in Europe as well, even though it's becoming quite rare to find a business that won't take cards at all and having some sort of bank account is effectively mandatory. (To cash a cheque without one you'll end up paying a fee of up to 15%, and a lot of employers won't even issue them because their banks charge extra for it as well.) If you buy everything with a card it's easy to unwittingly over-spend, cash can be spent without the benefit of a reliable Internet connection or even working electricity, and there are some purchases you really don't want being easily traced if the bank has a data breach even if you're not breaking the law.
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-08-04 06:13pm
On the subject of mitigating the effects of automation, Ontario has just discontinued its basic income test program- thanks a bunch, Doug Ford voters. Hopefully BC will go ahead with there's, which is currently under consideration.
So I just heard. In fact if my friends in Windsor are to be believed there's very little he hasn't cut yet. Pity he couldn't do that to his brother's cocaine budget, really.
There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Replace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


Like my writing? Tip me on Patreon

I Have A Blog

User avatar
Gandalf
SD.net White Wizard
Posts: 14476
Joined: 2002-09-16 11:13pm
Location: A video store in Sydney, Australia

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Gandalf » 2018-08-05 03:55am

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-08-04 05:57pm
The downside to the cash/card debate is that in the US at least, quite a lot of people still deal in cash almost exclusively. Oh they have bank accounts and all that, but quite a few people don't, and they will cash their paychecks, put some in the proverbial sock under the mattress, and use the rest for living expenses. Bill to pay? Go to the local office and pay it. More people are having bank accounts now, mind, because 'free checking' is still a thing, and that's become the norm I think in most areas. And of course in for example rural areas where you might only go to the store once every few weeks and do all your errands at the same time, online bill pay is convenient.

Anyway what that means is that in the US you definitely have to have a cash option. In some areas it's not as big of a deal-- think upper class high tech areas like San Francisco or NYC-- but it's definitely important to be able to handle cash at any time. There are certainly limitations (see gas stations with "No Bills over $50 after 10 PM" signs, for example) but in general any retail establishment targeted towards a broad bracket of customers needs to be able to handle cash on a regular basis. And while machines can do it, you still need someone to kick the machine every now and then and to supplement it if it's not meeting demand. Doesn't necessarily mean you have to have dedicated cashiers, though.
When you say "free checking," are you referring to the paper cheques? I haven't seen one of those here for... two decades or so.

Interestingly, Australia is becoming increasingly cashless, with some projections stating that we'll be totally cashless by 2030 or so. Some businesses are already completely cashless, relying wholly on card payments. I flat out don't carry any and it's not been an issue yet.
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

- A.B. Original, Report to the Mist

"I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately."
- George Carlin

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12297
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-08-06 04:32pm

Gandalf wrote:
2018-08-05 03:55am
When you say "free checking," are you referring to the paper cheques? I haven't seen one of those here for... two decades or so.

Interestingly, Australia is becoming increasingly cashless, with some projections stating that we'll be totally cashless by 2030 or so. Some businesses are already completely cashless, relying wholly on card payments. I flat out don't carry any and it's not been an issue yet.
By "free checking" I mean a bank account with, yes, paper checks, but also usually a "debit card" that draws money from that account and can be used pretty much anywhere with a card reader. I used my debit card in Canada when we travelled there last year, for example, without any issues. A lot of people here do still use personal checks, and many businesses still pay paper checks. For example I just dropped off some scrap metal today, the place gave me a paper check for the princely sum of 3.30.

That said, card readers are becoming far more common, but certainly not to the extent I saw them in Canada. Most of them still use swiping rather than chip-reading. Cash is still very common, particularly in low-tech venues like say a farmer's market.

It does make one wonder how the strippers will fare in a cashless society... ;)
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

User avatar
FaxModem1
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 6633
Joined: 2002-10-30 06:40pm
Location: In a dark reflection of a better world

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-08-06 04:36pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-08-06 04:32pm
It does make one wonder how the strippers will fare in a cashless society... ;)
Maybe tables will have Card readers to tip them at? Like at Chili's.
Image

Ralin
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2365
Joined: 2008-08-28 04:23am

Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Ralin » 2018-08-06 07:15pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-08-06 04:32pm

It does make one wonder how the strippers will fare in a cashless society... ;)
Well, in China you could just scan a QR code and pay via your phone and I expect a full on cashless society would require something equally convenient.

For people who aren't aware, web-based payments have become easy and ubiquitous enough in China that pretty much anyone including street vendors selling baked sweet potatoes and literal beggars can receive money that way. Even if you don't have a data connection you can print out a QR code to scan ahead of time. It's a level of success that services like Apple Pay dream of.

Post Reply