Most of y’all saw the movie “The Terminator” where the world was ruled by machines, right? At the time that movie came out, most of us thought it was just science fiction, but today, with all the current technology and stuff that will be appearing in the near future, you’ve got to wonder how far from the truth it is. Just look at what we have now. There are robots assembling cars and other products. Drones are used by the military to attack the enemy. Robots are used by the police to defuse or detonate bombs. And who hasn’t received those annoying robo-calls from political groups or time-share resorts?
Cool, Huh? But hold on! Each new gadget puts humans out of a job. Toll roads used to have booths manned by humans, but now, cameras and computers do most of the work. Crossing guards are rare these days thanks to electronic monitors on crosswalks that say “Wait” or “Walk”. Personally, I’d like to see one that reads “Better move it, old man.”
Who remembers going into a drug store and getting a refreshing beverage from a soda jerk? Today, if you want a soda, you go up to some fancy machine with lots of buttons to push. I used one just recently. Now, I admit that I’m not real tech savvy, so it took a while for me to figure this contraption out. First, I pushed one button for Coke. Then one for cherry and a third button for vanilla. I was so proud of myself for being a nouveau nerd but quickly realize I made a slight mistake by forgetting to put a cup under the dispenser. Hey, there was no instruction on that screen that said “Put a cup in first, old man.”
I saw the other day on TV that we will soon have driverless taxis and big rigs cruising down the highway. I found this a little scary but then I realized driverless vehicles are probably safer than those humans who text and drive. And I bet robo-cars will use their blinkers and won’t tailgate. These might be alright, unless you are a truck driver or a cabby.
We have all been to stores with self-check out lanes, but now, Amazon has a grocery store that scans products taken off the shelf and links up to your smart phone to create an invoice. Shoppers just grab what they need and skedaddle out the store without going through a check out lane. No need for human grocery clerks.
Schools are turning to technology to teach kids. Computer programs and online classes have become abundant. Human teachers may get booted to the curb while the class is being taught by artificial intelligence. I wished I had a computer teaching me when I was in the 3rd grade. My knuckles still ache from being whacked so often by a ruler-wielding teacher.
So, what jobs are left that won’t be stolen by robots? Well, as y’all probably guessed already, I have come up with a few. No hot-blooded man will tote a wad of currency into a strip joint to watch an exotic dancing machine gyrate around a pole. And I can’t see a robotic bouncer tossing out a drunk who went too far and grabbed the dancer’s mother board.
It’s safe that urologists won’t lose their jobs to a machine. A woman may place her bosoms in a mechanical device for testing, but there ain’t a man alive who’d allow a steel claw to check his prostate or want to hear a robot say, “Turn your head and cough.”
What kind of robot could do the work of a cowpoke? No cyborg could rope a steer, mend a fence or pull a calf all in the same day. Besides, wet cow manure would surely short out some circuits on some electronic cowboy.
And lastly, even with all the technology we have today, there is no electronic substitute for some redneck who writes a humor column for a newspaper. I reckon I have job security unless some goober up at MIT creates artificial ignorance.
Clint Younts. He’s not a robot, nor is a robot likely to replace him. However, his wife would probably love to have a robot run around the house cleaning the floors after he walks in from herding cattle – at the Crow’s Nest outside of Buda.