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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Uber Killing Jobs in SF By Hiring Robots

Posted By on Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 2:05 PM

click to enlarge KNIGHTSCOPE
  • Knightscope

Why pay an able-bodied human to do a job when there’s a perfectly good robot available? And if that robot costs a fraction of what you’d pay the human, all the investors and shareholders will be ecstatic. Cha-ching!

Uber, everyone’s favorite modern taxi service, is using a robot to patrol its vehicle inspection lot in Mission Bay, according to Fusion. Instead of paying a security guard $15 or so an hour, and only having that person work eight hours before overtime kicks in or their shift ends, this little egg-shaped robot needs no lunch breaks or time off — and costs a mere $7 an hour. That’s what Uber pays Knightscope, the company that created the robot, for the privilege of downsizing the city’s workforce.

“For the cost of a single-shift security guard, you get a machine that will patrol for 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Stacy Stephens, Knightscope’s vice president of marketing, told Fusion, adding that two security companies are also leasing the robots.

The robot also won’t call in sick, won’t complain about working conditions, won’t ask for time off for the birth of a child, won’t ask for a raise, and won’t have an opinion that’s different from yours. Essentially, the robot won’t let “life” get in the way of Uber’s unbridled pursuit of wealth and power. That’s simply too enticing for a company like Uber.

Remember, Uber is the company that undervalues its driver “partners” and wants driverless cars to replace real drivers so it can make more money. Uber is also the company that boasts of how lucrative and freeing a driving gig can be when in reality it’s just another low-wage job.

Robots are slowly but surely taking over society. Who knows how many lawmakers and heads of industry are actually robots. Imagine robot teachers. We know robots are about to take over the fast-food business, at least in San Francisco, so it’s only a matter of time before we’re all unemployed and fighting against the machines. Good luck, fellow humans.
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Max DeNike

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