12 machines that want your job

From complex cellphones to devices that can drive freeways and diagnose cancers, technology is cutting out the need for all sorts of human labor -- and human laborers.

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Feb 22, 2012 11:30AM
How about replacing all the high paid CEO's with robots and start passing the savings back to the consumers?
Feb 21, 2012 11:04PM
Machines can do it faster, more efficiently and cheaper.  Its just that they are terrible consumers.  They just don't seem to buy very much.
Feb 22, 2012 7:55PM

Companies and Government think real people should all be ROBOTS also.  Do not, I repeat, do not THINK FOR YOURSELF.  Do as the companies and GOVERNMENT tell you to do!!!



Feb 21, 2012 9:27PM
A lot of these machines essentially build themselves and that dynamic will increase.  We are in a historic moment for human history.  The population is growing, which should increase jobs and demand for jobs, thus the economy, but that is not happening.  There are virtually no manual labor jobs anymore, which were the bread and butter of the working class.  Most jobs above minimum wage demand at least a bachelor's degree and the competition for those is suffocating.  Older people are working longer because of better health and death of their retirement investments.  We are looking at the demise of human work, new job opportunities and economies based on growth of jobs.  If we are to survive, we are going to have to have some revolutionary thinkers come along and re-define economics.  Communism, socialism, capitalism and the standard solutions are no longer going to work.  That is why nobody has confidence in the government's ability to solve our economies.  China is emerging now, but soon that will start to falter as they become more and more automated and the people refuse to be slaves.  We need an entirely new paradigm of government and economy or we will implode and human needs will propell us into global war, massive depopulation and a new stone age. There are some very old suggestions on how humans can survive, prosper and meet each other's needs, but they have never been acceptable to the human race and probably will not be adopted. These suggestions are in an old "mythic" book called the Bible, but that's just nonsense isn't it?
Feb 22, 2012 10:02AM

The auther needs to do a little more homework and be a little less sensationalistic. Chief example is the comment about drones taking away pilot jobs. The fact is that drones require 25% MORE personnel to deploy and operate than a traditional combat aircraft, including the pilots that remotely fly the vehicles.


Smart phone apps are written by an army of software developers. New opportunities for young innovators that pay far more than minimum wage,


The "million" robots being acquired by Foxconn require many thousands of workers to assemble , install and maintain.


I have never been to a self checkout that didnt have one or more cashiers overseeing it because of the inevitable problems reading bar codes or to insure that every item was scanned. Personally I find the traditional checkout much faster.


A better article would be to talk about the evolving role of man\machine interfaces and how many new industries are being created that balance out the work being replaced. I would rather program a machine for $70k a year than snap one together for minimum wage.

Mar 19, 2012 7:42AM
We need a robot with a couple of soft hands and lips..
Mar 19, 2012 12:52PM

What I have to say is that this writer doesn’t have any knowledge about the process of how a prescription gets filled and what goes on at a pharmacy.


When a prescription gets dropped off, often a technician scans in and types up the prescription, sometimes needing to call the insurance for billing problems. The pharmacist then reviews the typing to make sure everything's typed up correctly, see if there are any problems with the prescription or any drug interactions, and calls the doctor if necessary. When there is a drug interaction or adverse effects, the pharmacist contacts the doctor and provides alternative choices in order to enhance patient medication safety. When the dose deviates from the norm, the pharmacist again contacts the doctor to verify if that’s what the doctor truly wants. Also, when a medication is not covered, the pharmacy also needs to contact the doctor’s office to change it to something cheaper for the patient. NEXT is when a technician or pharmacist then fills or counts out the pills, etc. However, before the medication gets bagged and put on the shelf, the pharmacist has to product review to make sure the product is correct. That's to fill one single prescription without interruption. However, that is never the case as the pharmacy staff always have to be in multiple places doing multiple things at once. Also, often the patients all want to wait for their prescriptions at the same time.


At any given time, there will be patients in the drive thru, patients at the counter (dropping off or picking up their prescriptions), phones ringing non-stop with patients trying to call in refills, or MD offices calling in new prescriptions, or patients asking questions, and patients at the consultation window trying to ask for OTC recommendations, etc.

That is not all. At some pharmacies, pharmacists are also giving blood pressure screenings, flu shots, pneumonia shots, Zostavax, Tdap, and much more.


Also, there is absolutely no fiction about a pharmacist coming out and having a conversation with a patient. There is probably not a single day that a pharmacist doesn’t at least counsel a few patients, whether on new prescriptions, over the counter medications, etc.


Machines are not always accurate either and often break down, requiring maintenance and someone to keep an eye on them for errors.

I just don’t want the public to be misinformed by this article, as there is not a whole lot of truth to it.


Please do not de-value the pharmacy profession, especially when you have no idea of how a pharmacy works.

Mar 19, 2012 10:43AM

When I was an engineering student in the mid 1960's, I was in a class groups that was taken on a "field trip" downtown to Columbia to view the IBM 610 (??) or 5900 (??). I remember one of the programmers telling us that one day computers would be "portable machines weighing no more than ten pounds". We were all pretty skeptical as we looked upon that tube laden, heavy artifact barely able to do square roots, sines and cosines in less than five minutes.

A few years later I and many of my classmates had a cult following for a weekly sci-fi TV program that we loved (and now more than ever) that depicted the future of the computer. Little did we know then that what Gene Roddenberry predicted in 1966 would become a must have and addiction in our homes, offices and while travelling from one destination to another.

The 1950's and 1960's were the decades known as "the beginning" and as artificial intelligence becomes a reality today, many will suffer loss of employment if they fail to keep up with technology. Remember, all machines, need talented, intelligent, cellular, carbon based life forms for their maintenance and well-being.

Mar 29, 2012 4:13PM
Greed get's in the way of common sence. Who will buy all this crap when american's are out of work?  They better pay the robots or they will have noone to sell it to.I will say it again Ban China and you will save!......America!!
Mar 19, 2012 12:16PM
Jobs = people working
people working = pay checks
pay checks = taxes
taxes = government

Basically are they going to tax these robots?

If our government does not get paid, no government?

Mar 19, 2012 8:46AM
Sorry I won't be voluntarily be trading my neighborhood pharmacist anytime soon. I look for pharmacists that do more that just dispense pills. When you find a good one they are a valuable resource to find what medicine works well for what and are good about answering your questions not only on prescriptions but on over-the-counter meds. In the past I have found out that they pay attention to the meds better than the doctor who wrote the prescription does.
Feb 22, 2012 4:12AM
Just goes to show you that anyone can be replaced.
Mar 19, 2012 11:04AM

How a few things work

1. A toaster make in the good old USA, the work would want $20.00 an hour, full medical, and a retirement plan. The toaster would cost $40 to $50. It would set on the self on sold, because the same worker would buy the $10 on made in china.
2. A person sues a company for injuries because they were to lazy to read the instructions. A jury awards a large settlement because insurance companies have deep pockets.  YES they do, your pockets, every dollar in an insurance company funds came out of your pocket.
3. WE want lots of pay, and cheep products, so yes JOBS will be taken over by machines, and will go overseas, because we the people are causing it.

Mar 19, 2012 8:17AM
Today's Economy is a direct result of advanced Technologies. We have re-placed our manual Labor workforce/ assembly line positions with Machines that now eliminate pretty much of the so called High School educated jobs that made up the middle working class. That in itself has brought True meaning to the phrase; your either rich or poor because Middle Class is History.

Mar 19, 2012 11:16AM
to the chiefdragon lady:  your political subject discussed has nothing to do with this issue about robots taking over some of our jobs.  Do not mix apples and oranges.  Stay focused on the subject.  And also I know this is an election year but my dear you are the 99 per cent of this country who still believe that democrats are bad and republicans good.  No such thing.  All politicians these days have sold their soul to the big banks, oil companies etc... They do not have your best interest in mind. You think you are voting?  Think twice.  Open your eyes.  We are controlled by the press, government. And BIG INTERESTS.
Mar 19, 2012 9:22AM
No machine can replace me until it learns to drink.
Mar 19, 2012 4:32AM

I think technology is great; however, we have to be careful of totally relying on machines so much that we become useless and start being dumbed down for lack of using our brain on simple tasks.  We also have to remember that people are making these machines and people are not perfect and mistakes can and will happen and computers shut down and malfunction everyday.  GPS devices still can't get directions right all the time or malfunction and have you making turns onto roads that aren't there sometimes, and now they are actually talking about having to hire less truck drivers to drive long distances because they are gonna let a computer do it!  As soon as there are malfunctions and cars and trucks start crashing and running people off the road, then those same people who were all for it, will be the main ones trying to sue the companies making the devices.  I do not want to drive along a freeway or streets with cars that are totally relying on a machine to see me, turn in front of me or anything else around me without the ability for a human to take over if necessary. 

Mar 19, 2012 10:09AM
somebody wrote that when machines get obsolete they get tossed in the dumpster.not all but  a lot of employers literally do that to their employees when they get worn out.just ask anyone who does a physical job for a living, no matter what it is or what trade.they try and replace us with younger cheaper and sometimes unskilled foreign labor after out bodies deteriorate from the daily grind of decades of work to make their fortunes.too many employers have the throw away older workers like a used kleenex mentality to save a buck on their bottom lines.
Mar 19, 2012 9:15AM
Why would you want a self driving car? I'd be scared to trust my life to some machine. I don't care how many sensors the thing has, it can't avoid everything. And if I get in an accident I rather I be driving...because I had a chance to avoid it...being in the hospital or dead because of some machine isn't for me...sorry. 

I miss the simple life...
Mar 29, 2012 4:29PM
I would like to see a robot try and bag groceries (if you can find a store that still bags groceries for you)!  I wouldn't mind having a robot fill my tank with gas, especially in really lousy weather, that would be the ideal self-service gas station since we have to pay top dollar for gas.  In case you guessed it, I've had a job bagging groceries at a grocery store, and when I pumped gas at a gas station, we also had to check the customer's oil, clean their windows, and check the tire pressure, adding air to the tire(s) regardless of the weather, all of this for a whopping 40 cents per gallon, a bargain by any stretch of the imagination.  Again, if a robot could do all of this...
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