Author Topic: Amazon has patented a system that would put workers in a cage, on top of a robot  (Read 497 times)

littleman

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A patent Amazon has received would pair humans and machines. In this case, the humans would be in a cage.

Illustrations that accompany the patent, which was granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office in 2016, show a cage-like enclosure around a small work space sitting atop the kind of robotic trolleys that now drive racks of shelves around Amazon warehouses.

The patent was called “an extraordinary illustration of worker alienation, a stark moment in the relationship between humans and machines” by researchers who highlighted it in a study published Friday.

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/amazon/amazon-has-patented-a-system-that-would-put-workers-in-a-cage-on-top-of-a-robot/

Drastic

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So the general laborer is still in it for a bit, at least for picking orders. It seems AI would have solved this one more quickly.

Rupert

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Typical Bezos... A type manager.
... Make sure you live before you die.

ergophobe

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Is that a patent or a metaphor?

littleman

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Right?

I'm hoping its not a glimpse into our future.

ergophobe

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It's actually worse than The Matrix because the humans are conscious.

When I took a job in a windowless office at one point, I told my wife, "And to think that I refuse to buy eggs from farmers who treat their chickens like this."

Amazon is taking it to the next level.

buckworks

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In some contexts people consider a cage .... er, cab ... on top of their machines to be a luxury.


ergophobe

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Sure... heavy equipment operators often need cages because the materials they move would shatter glass. But they are outdoors (albeit a noisy, diesel-infused outdoors).

And farmers... well, I remember many years ago when a farmer I knew got his first tractor with an enclosed cab, air conditioning and a stereo. It improved the experience of being out in the field, especially on hot days or cold days.

If Amazon had a glass cab with AC and a high quality stereo on top of their machine, my reaction would be quite different.

aaron

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In some contexts people consider a cage .... er, cab ... on top of their machines to be a luxury.
And increasingly people do not own what they purchase (purchase to lease :D), be it digital files from Apple or Amazon, or the ability to self-repair the onboard computers in their tractors.

ergophobe

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And increasingly people do not own what they purchase

No, but didn't you hear, that is MUCH better for the consumer. They don't want to own things. They want to pay subscriptions indefinitely
https://www.zuora.com/vision/subscription-economy/

aaron

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And increasingly people do not own what they purchase

No, but didn't you hear, that is MUCH better for the consumer. They don't want to own things. They want to pay subscriptions indefinitely
https://www.zuora.com/vision/subscription-economy/

The subscription model does better align incentives (product creator keeps making a better product that keeps delivering more value) and customers who value it most can pay higher rates for more features while those who do not value it as much don't pay.

The big issue from the consumer perspective is lock-in. And then the big issue from the company perspective is dealing with the cost of repeated churn & people who use free trials or such repeatedly across different computing devices, web browsers, emails, VPNs, etc etc etc

I had been hesitant to buy an Office 365 license wanting to forgo an ongoing subscription price for software I downloaded, but they added a feature I wanted which was only available to Office Insiders, which is only accessible to those with an active Office 365 subscription. That feature was worth far more than the ongoing recurring licensing fee.

Some other companies which have really juiced revenues by going recurring on account access fees like Adobe I have been more hesitant to move across on & I bought the latest version of the Creative Suite the day their model shift was announced so I had the newest version of the old stuff which will last as long as possible.

Sometimes with software there is a bit of a water cycle as companies use small businesses to dogfood their software & build awareness later move upmarket to enterprise the cost spiral eventually leads to a new market entry point for a new provider catering to small businesses. But in some cases if there is a subscription price set low enough and/or a free tier and/or academic exemptions to the price spiral perhaps once dominant software can remain dominant far longer.

Sites like Canva or services like Sketchup or Google Docs are plenty popular, but nothing has really displaced Adobe or Autodesk or Microsoft Office.

I can't imagine how complex the Excel codebase is or how hard a deep rewrite would be without breaking the software on existing computers all around the world.

Some of the smaller software companies have simply went away or were sold for a song while the dominant players have grown more dominant (based at least upon what the stock market is saying with Adobe being worth over $100 billion, Microsoft not too far from $1 trillion & Autodesk more than tripling over the past 3 years).

As the customer relationships become annuities rather than discrete sales, it gives the leaders increased margins to spend more money on brand awareness and drive up ad rates in the industry, which blocks out most other competing commercial offerings unless they are more specialized to a specific niche market.

A smaller animation software maker like Smith Micro Software trades at about $2 a share, down from $63 in 2010. They definitely should do the subscription model with their animation software seeing how well it worked for Adobe.

Muvizu went away and got purchased by some company out of China for a song. Customer support & setting up a license may require learning a bit of Chinese & opening up a QQ account or such.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2018, 11:33:42 AM by aaron »

ergophobe

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The subscription model does better align incentives (product creator keeps making a better product that keeps delivering more value) and customers who value it most can pay higher rates for more features while those who do not value it as much don't pay.

Yes, it does. I think it works particularly well for software, as you point out. If you want bug fixes, you have to ensure ongoing revenue for the developers.

I do believe very strongly that people who create things of value should be paid - so I don't download music or movies or software from tor sites or try to circumvent paywalls on publications or membership sites. Sometimes I even bump up to the paid subscription when the free version meets my needs, just to support the development.

That said, what I find is that it is really easy to keep signing up for services that are "just" $10 month or maybe $50. So by the time you're done you have all your traditional "subscriptions" (phone, ISP, car insurance, homeowners insurance, etc etc) and then you pile onto those your subscription for Netflix and Prime and Spotify and Lastpass and Zapier and and and and

Pretty soon, what you find is that if you aren't careful, at an average of $10/mo for subscriptions that seem completely worth it for "just", you now have a big fixed cost that is silently draining your coffers through autopay.

I'm not saying it's bad or not worth it, but it does mean it is a lot easier to get a large sum of money coming out of your income, bled off by a large number of small subscriptions for things that either were fixed fee before (music) or didn't exist before (Zapier, Lastpass).

aaron

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Pretty soon, what you find is that if you aren't careful, at an average of $10/mo for subscriptions that seem completely worth it for "just", you now have a big fixed cost that is silently draining your coffers through autopay.
Buying too many domain names and accumulating dozens of hosting accounts can also end up being a big drain. I prune domains every few years. I think about every 2 or 3 years I keep deleting about half of whatever is left.

For music or books or movies I usually prefer to buy a MP3, book, ebook that is owned, or a DVD that can then be converted to a local styled Netflix offering on Plex for the house.

I subscribe to the WSJ & a few other niche media sites like Real Vision.

One way to save decently on a Lastpass or RoboForm styled subscription is to wait until they have a 40% off black Friday sale or such & then do the 5-year extension which is 40% off for buying 5 years. Get 40% off of the already 40% off and you are paying 36% of the typical annual cost.

And for things like stock photos I either go for something with non-expiring one-off credits, or if I wanted to work on revamping a large project for a client or something like that maybe I'd do a big subscription for a month or two & then cancel it when the project was over or such.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 06:07:13 PM by aaron »

ergophobe

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And for things like stock photos I either go for something with non-expiring one-off credits, or if I wanted to work on revamping a large project for a client or something like that maybe I'd do a big subscription for a month or two & then cancel it when the project was over or such.

Similar. Ideally, the monthly sub gives you more than you need for the specific project. So I've spent the day before expiration downloading general images until the credits are gone.

One good deal that comes along once a year or so the AppSumo deal  on Deposit Photos. I think it's comparable to Fotolia or Shutterstock in selection (maybe not quite as good), but I think it was $39 for $100 non-expiring credits and you can stack codes for as many images as you need.

aaron

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A friend also recommended DP in the past & I thought it was a great deal as well.

Before DepositPhotos there was one called something like DollarPhotoClub.com, but at some point that went away and the credits got converted into expiring credits at Adobe Stock.