5 Sure, Let the Robots Run the Economy
Or maybe we should have said ruin the economy? Look what happened recently after hackers got into the AP’s Twitter account and sent out some tweets containing false info: an immediate selloff on Wall Street! Why? Not because a bunch of traders got scared, but because a bunch of computers freaked out and automatically began dumping shares! What if this little blip had been on a bigger scale? Chances are, we’ll soon know: Scores of companies now let automated systems handle millions of trades for them each and every minute of the day.
4 And They Won’t Even Eat the Crops
Automated farm work is already a common practice in much of the developed world. We have been using things like the cotton gin and the grain thresher for decades (almost centuries!) already, but today it’s gone beyond that level: Today’s tractors are driven by GPS, and watering patterns and schedules are regulated by computers. How long before there are no people left in those tractors, and the irrigation systems are managed from afar? We’d say maybe a generation. If barbed wire killed the cowboy, think what’s coming in the digital age …
3 Ticket to Ride … and Add a Hotel and Zipline Tour!
The days of the travel agent may be numbered, thanks to sites like Expedia.com, HotWire.com, Kayak.com and about 2,136 other similar travel sites. Yes, these websites are mostly about as much fun to use as a pair of shoes made from molten lava, but they save the traveler money, so they are the go-to way most folks book their travel plans these days.
2 Operator-Bot, Get Me Number 7
If you remember the good old days when a phone call was placed by picking up a phone and speaking to a human operator, who would then connect your call by physically plugging your line into a line connected to that of the person with whom you wished to talk, then you have great genes for longevity. But you also have to admit that an automated phone system is a hell of a lot better than an analog one.
1 Taken from the Bank
ATMs are such a common facet of modern life that while most people use them on a weekly basis, many don’t even know what the acronym stands for. How about you? Did you know it means “automatic teller machine”? And did you ever stop to think about the man or woman who held that job, bank teller, before this cold-hearted robot money machine stole it away from them? Well, you’re a bit late to start worrying about them now. The precursors to today’s ATMs have been around since the 1960s, and some designs were already being tooled with in the 30s.