Have you been jonesing for the old days when fast-food joints were staffed by semi-functioning humans who didn’t just spend 2-3 years sitting in prison? Are you tired of these D-minus employs handing you an incomplete order?
The good old days of B-plus fast-food experiences could soon return thanks to none other than Jeff Bezos’ new Sparrow robot that, if everything goes as planned, will help send Amazon’s $20/hr. workers back to the drawing board.
That’s right, the unemployment line. Back to the fast-food joints. Back to waitressing at the sports bars.
Bezos’ genius AI team showed off this brand new Sparrow beast Thursday to adoring members of the media who watched as Sparrow easily selected items of different shapes and sizes and sorted the items into plastic crates.
“Sparrow is the first robot Amazon has revealed of its kind and it has the potential to wipe out significant numbers of the company’s warehouse workers,” Insider’s Lakshmi Varanasi wrote about this secret new weapon.
You’re damn right Amazon is pumped up about Sparrow. We’re talking about a company that handles 13 million packages on a daily basis and upwards of 13 billion packages in 2021.
“Working with our employees, Sparrow will take on repetitive tasks, enabling our employees to focus their time and energy on other things, while also advancing safety,” Amazon’s communications team said Thursday. “At the same time, Sparrow will help us drive efficiency by automating a critical part of our fulfillment process so we can continue to deliver for customers.”
Yeah, don’t worry Amazon workers. There’s no way Sparrow is coming for your job.
JUST KIDDING! LOLOLOLOL.
According to Insider, Sparrow is currently being used in a Texas warehouse and the expectation is that it’s deployed to more locations in 2023.
Amazon is saying all the right things to keep things calm. You don’t want humans to start flying off the handle in the middle of the Christmas buying season.
“Since we began introducing robotics into our facilities in 2012, we have created over a million new jobs, and have deployed more than 520,000 robotic drive units worldwide,” an Amazon spokesperson told Insider.
Yeah, don’t worry about your Amazon jobs. You’re just fine.
In a leaked memo obtained by Vox Media over the summer, the company claimed that it could run out of people to hire by 2024 as it continued to suck up local labor to run these massive warehouses. We’re talking about a company that, in 2021, had an attrition rate that was costing the company around $8 billion annually.
The solution: Raise wages or “Increase automation and risk the wrath of critics concerned about replacing people with robots at the second-largest private sector employer in the country,” the leaked report states.
Approximately six months later, Amazon is showing off what could solve its labor issue.
While the vision is easy to see at Amazon, there’s great news for fast-food workers who might be concerned that their jobs are next up for elimination. McDonald’s executives said this summer that robots aren’t going to take human jobs anytime soon.
“The economics don’t pencil out, you don’t necessarily have the footprint and there’s a lot of infrastructure investments that you need to do around your utility,” McDonald’s Chief Executive Chris Kempczinksi said in July.
Now we just need enough of the Amazon workers to shuffle down to the restaurant industry level to end the madness that has been caused in communities across the country.
At the very least, Bezos could give us back some of the sports bar waitresses that could hustle out draft beers.
Help us, Sparrow.