This Pizza-Making Robot Is Mesmerizing to Watch and Will Take All Human Jobs
It’s already quite cheap to make pizza. It’s not exactly a restaurant idea that required much further innovation when it comes to cutting costs. But a Silicon Valley start-up called Zume thought that pizza needed to be iterated, so they created a robot that can make pizzas. Way less expensive than paying a human to do it, right?
The pizza-making robot looks incredibly cool to watch, but it sure is depressing when you think about the economic consequences of its existence. Bloomberg‘s feature story about the creators of the pizza-bot reads like a parody of Silicon Valley-isms. Alex Garden, Zume’s co-founder and executive chairman, says “we are going to be the Amazon of food,” and then later: “Just imagine Domino’s without the labor component. You can start to see how incredibly profitable that can be.”
So, it apparently costs less to build and maintain this robot than it costs to employ an equal number of people to make the pizzas. I’m not sure how that math works out. But part of the business model for this pizza place is that customers also get to watch the robots make the pizza while waiting. It’s no wonder people would like the idea, because the robots do look incredibly cool:
There are still some humans employed at this weird place: engineers, designers, product managers. But there are also some other humans who’re doing the tricky parts of the pizza-making process, such as prepping the dough and adding the toppings. Presumably, those humans will get phased out before long, since Garden’s ultimate plan is to put these robots into delivery trucks and have them make pizzas on the go, while en route to your house, so that the ‘za is as fresh as possible.
Robots have become all the rage in food service lately; automated check-out systems aren’t a new fad, but this robot-run McDonald’s that opened last year has caused some uneasiness among us lowly humans. Robots will probably not rise up and kill us all (well, not right away) but they do seem well-equipped to steal our entry-level jobs. Maybe after that they’ll rise up and steal the jobs of the engineers that built them. Then they’ll eat some pizza.
(via The Verge)
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