Digital Minefield

Why The Machines Are Winning

Land, Sea, and Air

New Technology is not only everywhere, it is also everywhen, i.e., constantly In The News. Recently, there have been a couple of really big news stories about really big New Technology. Big enough to make George Takei (Mr. Sulu) say, “Oh, my.”

Let’s start with the big story of Amazon delivery by air using drones. Here’s a link to CBS, where the story first broke on “60 Minutes.” When revealed by Jeff Bezos to Charlie Rose, Charlie could only say, “Oh, my God.”

My first reaction was a little less impressed. I said it was probably a ploy by Amazon as leverage for dealing with the Teamsters Union (the guys who drive all those trucks).

Of course, I have no proof either way, but check out this page at Amazon. There, you can choose from dozens of drones from $15 to $500. Maybe Jeff was just trying to sell more drones.

As for Delivery Drones, don’t bet on it. There are simply too many obstacles to overcome. E.g., how would you like your neighbor to get a couple of Amazon air deliveries every day?

As for sea-going tech news, we have the mysterious Google barges. This link to their official explanation is now gone, as Google adds to the mystery. Who knows Google’s real intent.

These barges could be located anywhere (east or west coasts). Being modular, they could serve many concurrent functions. Put them in enough water, and they could be deep-sixed in minutes.

I’ve covered sea and air, but what about land? I’ve already written about automated vehicles (from a different perspective) many times in this blog. Why couldn’t Amazon use them?

Robots load them at the nearest warehouse, and a robot-like device built into the Automated Package Delivery Vehicle (APDV) offloads the package at your house. And takes a picture of it at your door, then emails it to you with a time and date stamp.

For many reasons, this system would be limited to residential areas. No one should expect this complicated a system to function in cities for office buildings and apartment complexes.

APVSs are far more practical than drones, They are quicker and easier to implement, less dangerous, not as annoying, and have far fewer regulations to overcome. But in none of these areas—land, sea, or air—are there many jobs for humans.


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