In Other News: When Robots Take Sales Jobs

by MR Magazine Staff

A frightening story in the New York Post profiles a $50,000 robotic sales assistant called OSHbot and warns that such technology may reach the point of taking millions of jobs.

OSHbot is named for the San Jose, Calif.-based hardware chain Orchard Supply Hardware where they work. They were developed by a company called Fellow with the help of Lowe’s Innovation Labs (Orchard Supply was acquired by hardware giant Lowe’s in 2013).

Starting last summer, Amazon began using thousands of “Kiva” robots at 10 of its fulfillment centers. The Kiva robots move shelves of products around the warehouses so human workers don’t have to walk as much, an article in CNet explained last November.

The Post cited one particularly pessimistic prediction that 2 billion human jobs will be taken by robots by 2030, but added that many experts think we’re still decades further from technology that will truly endanger human jobs.