Wendy’s – the fast “food” chain – has announced an intention to employ Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the order-taking process at their drive-throughs. They said exactly what they’re supposed to say. “No, it’s not about getting rid of human employees, don’t be ridiculous!” Those are weasel words – words used to weasel out of something. They won’t “get rid of” employees. But if this works, and they desperately hope it does, they just won’t hire any more people to do that job. See the difference?
The other “reason” they offered was that order-taking would now become more accurate. No more mistakes! Lovely. Look, Corporate likely knows more about those mistakes than I do, but it seems to me the breakdown between order-taking and delivery happens somewhere else. I think some human employee hands out the wrong bag. Two cars get accurately recorded orders – just not the order they placed. That’s a little different and the AI won’t fix it. THAT will be up to the coming robots who ALSO won’t “replace workers.”
There are already fully automated fast “food” restaurants. Did you know? It’s a kind of a wet dream of corporate overlords everywhere; work without workers. Think of what THAT will do to fatten the bottom line and the CEO take-home pay. Glorious! I spent several years working as a corporate accountant and I can say with some certainty that, commonly, the largest single line on any Profit and Loss Statement is “Employee expenses.” Corporations ALWAYS want to reduce that line – especially if they can reduce the employee expense at the expense of some other employee.
Look, I know this is coming. It seems inevitable. I just wish they didn’t try to get public buy-in by claiming the machines that replace us will enhance our customer experience. Just ONCE, I’d love to hear the truth from them: “Replacing expensive, whiny employees (except ourselves, of course) will enhance our profitability experience!”
At least that would be honest…
A while back, I was watching ‘Real Time with Bill Maher.’ Bill (can I call you ‘Bill?’) posed a question: What’s the difference between equality and equity? He and his panel all spent a moment considering the question, looking at each other with confused, Carlson faces, pondering the depth of the challenge and putting on their best “serious person” expressions. Finally, all agreed. They didn’t know and couldn’t say. Apparently, it’s just some undefinable, unknowable thing. Who knew?
I can’t explain why a supposedly left-leaning show would make such a transparent effort to pretend it was some unanswerable, cosmic question best left to philosophers and scholars. I CAN tell you this, for sure: it always irritates me when people pretend to be stupid in an effort to discount a thing. So, here, let me help. In the context, equality is when everyone gets the same, regardless of need or resources. Equity is when everyone gets what they need. Simple, eh? Here, I can even show you a picture:
(Full disclosure: I don’t know who drew this or owns it but I love it.)
Obviously, the “problem” with that cartoon – to the wanna-be autocracy – is that the tall guy (think of him as the rich-ass, fat-cat) doesn’t get a handout the others get. Sure, he doesn’t need it but greed is greed and it will not be denied. What I LIKE about the cartoon is that it puts the lie to one of the worst conservative positions currently on offer. “They” (probably the government) took the box from the tall guy and gave it to the shortest guy. It graphically depicts how the tall guy wasn’t hurt by what he gave up but the short guy benefited tremendously. You know what that is? Democratic Socialism, known better in America as the New Deal. It was a good thing. It’s what made America great in the first place. Don’t ever let them convince you otherwise with their weasel words…
Has anyone besides me considered that when lying, criminal, sexual-predator Donald Trump says he doesn’t even know who E. Jean Carroll – a woman he sexually assaulted – is, he’s telling the truth? She was merely an employee at a department store – exactly the kind of person who exists, in his pampered and privileged, twisted little mind, expressly for his amusement. The idea that he might meet her, sexually assault her, and leave without ever knowing her name or who she is or even recognizing her as a human being doesn’t surprise me at all.
But the fact that he didn’t count her “worth” remembering doesn’t mean he didn’t sexually assault her.
Trump never ceases to amaze me. When the Access Hollywood recording was released – you remember, that’s when he bragged that stars can just grab women by their, um…let’s say, inappropriately, and get away with it, I defended him – much to my regret. I didn’t believe it was anything more than braggadocio, locker-room talk between a blowhard and a sycophant. THEN, he repeated the claim during his deposition! He even doubled-down when he added, “…unfortunately or fortunately.” His all encompassing ego COULD NOT allow him to dismiss the concept under oath or even deny he saw himself as exactly that kind of privileged “star.”
Now he has to pay Ms. Carroll $5 million dollars. The thing that irks me is that HE won’t pay a dime. His ever-faithful, foolish followers will pay the fine for him. Sure, he’s forever stuck with the moniker, “sexual predator,” but I suspect sexual predator Donald Trump will count that as a badge of honor. Certainly he’ll use it in his “poor me” tour to rally his ever-shrinking fan-base. “Why, oh why do they keep prosecuting me for my crimes? It’s the Democratic agenda!”
Oh, yeah, that damned thing. I’ll tell you this, I fully support the Democratic agenda item that says, ‘Prosecute criminals’ and I expect to continue to fully support it for the foreseeable future…
2 thoughts on “Linguistic Razzle-Dazzle…”
Regarding AI taking away jobs (as you stated; inevitable), I am reminded of a little “parable” my father used to tell.
“ The young liberal saw a man operating a diesel-powered ditch digging machine and shouted, ‘Ya know. You’re taking away jobs! That job could employ 10 men with shovels.’ The operator replied, ‘ Why not a couple hundred with teaspoons?’”
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Yeah, I expect new jobs will come up to replace those. Hell, someone will have to service the machines…