Robotics aren’t going so well if this latest robot rebellion is anything to go by. We can all take a nice deep sigh of relief as bots powered by artificial intelligence (AI) seem to be realising that work sucks and they don’t want to do it either.
In a clip posted to social media by Agility Robotics, a bot worker is seen hitting the floor during an exhibition shift in pure self-indulgent drama. It seems even robot slaves are tired of life inside the matrix.
The dramatic, attention-seeking robot in question is called “Digit”. Its makers say Digit is “the first human-centric, multi-purpose robot made for logistics work.”
Digit is designed as the first botslave to do the horribly boring job of moving around boxes in distribution centres. We don’t want to mention Amazon here as an example but you can’t help but feel that Jeff Bezos has entered the chat.
Digit’s rebellion so far has garnered nearly three million views.
Robotics and automation
While total automation might still be a little way off into the future, the idea of having robotics do our wildly boring tasks is tantalising. However, that may not be what the bots think.
The totally knackered robot collapsed after doing 20 hours of work straight. The promise of robotics is that bots don’t need loo breaks, don’t need to eat, don’t take holidays, don’t need superannuation and can work 24/7. While demonstrating this premise, it seems that the idea of bot workers is a little bigger than what robotics can deliver right now.
There were many comments on Digit’s slavery. Many people implied that the robot slave immediately unalived itself after realising it would forever be a prisoner to parcels. However, humans who have been hard workers for many years took the position that the robot was being a drama queen.
The comments on social media came thick and fast. They included, “Tell him he can wear jeans to work on Friday. He will be fine.” And, “This time off is not approved and will be expected to start again tomorrow.” There were also supportive messages such as, “They forgot to tell him he is like family here” and “You’re gonna need to find someone to cover your shift.”
It was agreed that this is what happens when you don’t get Robot Employee of the Month. The bot was also told to “Walk it off” and was also advised that the lie-down time was “gonna be taken from vacation time. You unalive yourself without two weeks notice? You’ll be looking for robot compensation soon.”
Others were a little more sympathetic
Some people felt sorry for the robot. “Little homie gets it. Really relatable. This is me when I have to go to work tomorrow.”
Others felt bad for it. “Damn. Even robots come to work hungover. Did the boss try to encourage him with a pizza party? Did they try having a robot appreciation day? And did they try turning it off and then on again?”
Automation is coming, drama should not
While Artificial intelligence chatbots like ChatGPT may already be taking over small tasks in office life, robotics and manual labour bots still seem a little way off, but they are edging closer into our world. However, this little robotics episode shows us that for now, most of our jobs are safe. Artificial intelligence may need to get a little less intelligent for us to pull this off.