Opinion: Of burgerbots… part 2

February 2, 2019

The Brookings Institution conducted a survey and released the findings, and they were something like this: It won’t be long before robots take over 48 percent of the jobs in the San Joaquin Valley.


I’m wondering whether a robot could take over my job.


If a robot took over my job, it would have to be set to do certain things at certain times.


For example, when the robot got up in the morning, after it got out of the bathroom, it would have to go out into the kitchen and make coffee. The coffee would have to be made in a certain way, too. For example, I prefer coffee made in a French press. You have to put the dry coffee in the French press, add boiling water, let the coffee float to the top and then push the plunger slowly until it goes all the way to the bottom. If the robot pushes the coffee too hard, it will splash all over, leaving a mess that will have to be cleaned up before anything else can be done.


(Perhaps a housekeeper robot could be at hand to take care of such problems.)


Then the editor robot would have to take the coffee back to the bathroom and take a shower. Then, the robot would have to dry off with a towel and wipe up any water it had dripped on the floor.


Many days of doing this might cause the robot to rust.


Then the robot would have to feed the cats, and turn on the television to see what was going on in the world.


After pouring a second cup of coffee, the robot would have to go back into the bedroom and put on its clothes. This might take a fairly long time, because robots have big fingers that don’t bend easily, and might not be able to button their shirts, put on their skivies, slip on their socks and tie their shoes without a lot of trouble.


One thing the robot probably would not have to do would be to shave, or comb its hair. But it would have to go get a third cup of coffee before it put on its pants, which those robot fingers would have a heck of a time zipping up.


The robot would have to learn to drive my car, and avoid crashing into other vehicles while it drove from my house to the office. (I’ve noticed a lot of other drivers along that route tend to drive like robots, so it could be that the robot-driving problem could be worse than one might initially think.)


Once the robot got to work, it would have to back into its parking space and try to avoid hitting the car next to it.


As soon as it got into its office and sat down at its chair, it would have to set its alarm clock to wake it up just before lunch. Then, it would have to put on another pot of coffee, and drink a fourth cup and take a quick nap, before anybody came in and wanted to talk about something.


After lunch, another nap would be in order, and then when five o’clock rolled around, as soon as the robot woke up, it would be time to go home, or go to a City Council meeting, where it could try to look like it was paying attention.


After the meeting, it would go home, turn on the news and flop down on the couch for a little nap.


You see what I’m getting at? Why would anybody buy a robot to do a job that I’m already so good at?

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