Once more it’s Wednesday, money robots, and today we have a set of stories all about automation and how it affects our financial futures. Welcome to the machine!
Introducing Marty, the grocery-store robot. [Mashable] — “This year, Stop & Shop introduced giant, gray, aisle-patrolling robots at more than 200 stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Jersey…Once Marty identifies a hazard using its sensors, it stops in its tracks, changes its signature operating lights from blue to yellow, and repeatedly announces ‘Caution, hazard detected’ in English and Spanish.”
How robots became a scapegoat for the destruction of the working class. [The Week] — “For as long as America’s had something like a modern capitalist economy, automation and technology have been disrupting and remaking the jobs market…Historically, technology has tended to increase the number of jobs out there. By making it cheaper to provide some goods and services, automation frees up money to be spent on other things.”
Chase commits to AI after machines outperform humans in copywriting trials. [Ad Age] — “Chase says that ads created by [machine learning] performed better than ads written by humans, with a higher percent of consumers clicking on them—more than twice as many in some cases. The difference can be as simple as what word choice resonates with consumers.” Another weapon in the ongoing battle to separate you from your money…
The tiny video store that survived Netflix. [The Hustle] — “To keep things afloat, Belfer works 12 hours a day, 365 days a year…Being one of the last survivors in a dying industry has its challenges. For one, he’s outlasted most of the industry’s technologies: The world’s last dedicated VCR manufacturer closed shop in 2016; its one-time competitor, Betamax, stopped producing machines in 2002.”
A long (and fascinating) look at the decline in movie theater attendance. [Redef] — “Another day, another box office disappointment. Or record. Or franchise hit. Or franchise RIP. Or indie sleeper. Or indie sleep-with-the-fishes. What’s going on?”
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p.s. Here’s an update! While collecting links this morning, I found a related article. Apparently most people would rather lose their jobs to a robot than to another human being. Interesting…