Fired by a robot: Amazon's lastest "Innovation"

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by decafjava, May 2, 2019.

  1. decafjava macrumors 68030

    decafjava

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
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    Geneva
    #1
    When it came to imagining an AI apocalypse against humanity I expected nukes, or poison or loads of killer robots not all being put on the dole.

    https://www.businessinsider.com.au/...-fires-warehouse-workers-time-off-task-2019-4

     
  2. DearthnVader macrumors 6502a

    DearthnVader

    Joined:
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    Red Springs, NC
    #2
    Sound OK to me, it's job is to weed out all non-hackers that do not pack the gear to serve in Amazon's beloved core.:D

    No, really, I can't count the number of times I've had to work harder to pick up the slack of slackers.

    Fire them all.
     
  3. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    Colorado
    #3
    If employees know the standard or what is expected of them and they don’t meet those standards/goals/expectations then does it really matter if they get fired by a human vs. a robot/computer?
     
  4. jkcerda macrumors 6502a

    jkcerda

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    #4
    kind of like to really, you won't be safe just because your lips are stuck to the bosses rear end this way :D
     
  5. Mousse macrumors 68000

    Mousse

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    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    #5
    I'd like to, but I can't fire the Boss™.;) Not only do I have too do my job, but I have to do it in such a way that the Boss™ looks good in the eyes of his Boss.:oops: Another day older and deeper in debt. St Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go. I owe my soul to the company sto'.:p
     
  6. ericgtr12 macrumors 65816

    ericgtr12

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    Mar 19, 2015
    #6
    Agreed, although it seems like maybe having a human deliver the news might be a bit more diplomatic but yeah, if you're not doing the job then out with you.
     
  7. trillionaire macrumors regular

    trillionaire

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    Dec 19, 2018
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    Canada
    #7
    I guess it doesn't, so long as they have been given at least one opportunity/warning to change their work habits, i.e. increase their work speed, and have been informed as to the reason for their firing, which I'm not sure the AI does/handles. The article says that the system does give warnings, so I guess that's one part covered.

    As also mentioned in the article, it sure makes for a stressful work situation. Honest workers will be stressed out and the ones that don't care will be fired. Sort of a win/lose situation because you are weeding out the bad ones, but also potentially losing good ones due to stress. I wonder how much time they are losing to training new workers.

    Guess it works for them though. They have grown so big that they need automation/AI to help oversee everything.
     
  8. PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    Houston, TX
    #8
    True, but I wonder about the margin of error, overall productivity, mitigating circumstances.

    Is one fired because they had to take child to hospital and it exceeded some hard limit?
    Or what if there is a system fault resulting in delays or lost data?

    Good managers take in all factors to make judgment. Programs are locked into the algorithms and limited set of factors.


    Good and bad factors in such a system, not taking sides on this.
     
  9. ericgtr12 macrumors 65816

    ericgtr12

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2015
    #9
    My wife worked at a major grocery outlet for many years and they had a point system that was actually pretty effective. You were allowed so many points within a given amount of time, say you clocked in late, that would be a point and you were allowed 3 tardy's within a month, etc. If an employee exceeded these points, they were let go.

    I think the key is as long as they employee knows what's expected of them and the penalties if they fail to meet the requirements then the company is well within their rights to penalize accordingly. Whether or not you get that pink slip from a human or a machine is another question. :p
     
  10. decafjava thread starter macrumors 68030

    decafjava

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    Geneva
    #10
    I would hope mitigating issues will be taken into account with such a system just as with a purely human system.
     
  11. ericgtr12 macrumors 65816

    ericgtr12

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2015
    #11
    A smaller business has a different dynamic I think, where mitigating circumstances are taken into consideration. However, a company like Amazon is truly a machine in many ways, I mean it's hard to even wrap your head around really. They deliver 608 million packages per year, I couldn't even imagine the logistics that goes into something like that. From their perspective I can see how they have a rigid need for humans to perform at a certain level.
     
  12. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    #12
    It's hard enough figuring out a fair system for productivity, but then they want to automate it. I don't always trust beancounters to think they know how to improve a system they don't work inside.

    My previous employers upper management tried to move from a one/two man teams to a three man team. Saying he worked the numbers and did a successful trial runs. We did our own test trial at the local store and was a disaster. We had people constantly running into each other. A year later we went back to a one man workstation and productivity shot up threefold.
     

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11 May 2, 2019