Amazon Just Showed Us What Really Happens When Robots Replace Jobs

They've already got 100,000 robots and are adding (a lot) more.


By Lisa Calhoun

There are as many opinions about jobs and artificial intelligence as there are people who have them. A Vanguard global economist recently said AI will replace one in two jobs. A new survey of AI researchers said most believe AI will outperform people at rote work like translating, surgery, and transportation in 10 years. Fighting fire with fire, Google is offering a new AI job search. Marc Andreessen, founder at top venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, says humans have always been afraid the latest tech would take their jobs–and it’s never happened. Meanwhile, some of the most automated factories in the country–like Tesla’s gigafactory–can’t hire fast enough because the demand for the product outpaces even well-automated labor.

Amazon is giving us the biggest real life case study about what happens when jobs–in this case, warehouse jobs–are replaced by robots. According to a recent article in The New York Times, Amazon has about 100,000 robots already. You can get a glimpse of what that looks like in this Youtube video of an Amazon fulfillment center:

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