Earlier this year the CEO of Carl’s Jr. announced that he wanted to replace his restaurant’s workers with machines, citing millennials’ aversion to face-to-face exchanges as chief among his reasons. To his point: I (a borderline millennial) find myself favoring stores that have self checkouts; they feel like personal, well-stocked pantries/warehouses that I can just wander into, grab what I need and dip. In a way I am part of this Randian problem. But is it ‘really’ a problem?
Yes, a robotic work-force could potentially cannibalize the economy, but what ‘special irreplaceable value’ do fast-food workers add to the fast-food dining experience? There is a brainless, assembly-line quality to the process of taking orders and filling them that robots could probably do more efficiently and with zero disdain/ineptitude/fatigue. This could be a boon for the consumer who has grown weary of wasting their hard-earned on botched orders (“How you gonna forget the chicken though?! That’s in your goddamn name!”). And furthermo—