When Automation is Humans Dressed as Robots

Automation, Dressed, Humans, Robots

In 2021, Amazon’s grocery stores made the decision to move away from their “Just Walk Out” technology, which was discovered to actually involve 1,000 human reviewers in India. This situation is similar to historical examples of automation deception, such as the infamous Mechanical Turk.

The Mechanical Turk was a fraudulent chess-playing machine from the 18th century that appeared to function autonomously but actually had a human chess player hidden inside. This deception was a groundbreaking example of technology manipulation.

Today, the idea of the Mechanical Turk lives on in different forms. With the rapid advancements in artificial intelligence, there are numerous cases where automation technology is presented as cutting-edge, but in reality, human workers are involved behind the scenes to make it work effectively. This phenomenon speaks to the ongoing struggle to balance automation with human labor in the tech industry.

As we navigate the complexities of AI-driven automation today, it is essential to remain skeptical and aware of instances where technology is presented as fully automated when human intervention is actually necessary. This ensures that we have a clear understanding of the true capabilities and limitations of the technology we rely on.

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