Service jobs and Underemployment: waiting for noone

Thanks to Randy Sargent for sending along Computer Tablets Take over Part of Restaurant Server’s Job, an NPR story broadcast a few days ago, by Stacey Vanek Smith. The story dives into the use of Ziosk, an electronic food ordering and payment system at Uno’s in Framingham, and enters the uncomfortable and important territory of just what we yield when automation replaces yet another service job. We have quantitative behavioral analysis of the restaurant patrons, of the servers and of course a distancing of humans as technology takes yet another role away from human mediation. Will these ‘bots make some patrons happy? Sure- read the comments below the fold on the on-line transcript, if you have a strong constitution. But they will also again shift the calculus of employment, putting more future jobs under threat of large-scale automation and underemployment.

One thought on “Service jobs and Underemployment: waiting for noone

  1. Reuben

    I found the whole Planet Money series on social change due to robotics to be very interesting and well done.


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