Rapid technological advancements are making profound changes to daily human life. Computers double their capabilities every twelve to eighteen months. Grocery stores without cashiers, same day delivery using drones, and robots working in fast food restaurants are just a few examples of what is now considered “modern technology.” Machine learning has surpassed what many would have ever imagined with IBM’s Watson.
For decades now, increased labor costs and the demand for productivity and greater efficiency have driven companies to automate processes. Autonomous technologies have inversely affected lower paying positions with higher paying skilled positions. Initial investments in research and development have proven to increase spending, but the result of automated processes has easily justified the cost and effort spent to accomplish such advancements. For this reason, Amazon created Amazon Go.
With Amazon Go, the shopping experience has become seamless. The idea is simple: scan your phone as you walk into the grocery store, grab your groceries, and walk out. Amazon Go stores create an easy, error free shopping experience. Through the combination of sensor fusion, computer vision, and extensive learning, Amazon Go has taken the autonomous revolution to new heights. Their plan is to open 2000+ stores. Keep in mind, these stores will not have cashiers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the United States, “3,424,200 people were cashiers in 2014.” 24% of the 3.4 million cashier jobs in the United States were cashiers in grocery stores. Autonomous technologies such as Amazon Go have the great potential to eradicate many jobs such as the grocery store cashier. Certain companies will retain these positions for a better customer experience, but as the unmanned model becomes more prevalent, more and more companies will begin to make the transition. What will the future look like with less people able to obtain low paying waged jobs due to rapidly advancing technological advancements? I can hear it now: “There were cashiers and checkout lines? You payed with cash?” These will just be a couple of the questions asked by children in 10 years.
Educating America’s youth about the technological changes will be vital in sustaining our progressive actions. Programs are popping up throughout the country that teach elementary aged children the basics of coding. These programs will be of paramount importance in creating a generation of scholars able to find jobs, and help support the inevitable rapid technological advancements. For this reason, CTS created the Bright Futures Program. This program allows CTS to partner with local schools and train teachers how to teach a structured programming class and assist the students during this time. We believe in two very strong philosophies when it comes to technology. Start young. Continue learning.