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Robots Alone Can't Solve Amazon's Labor Woes

Amazon warehouse
Maryville University's
the George Washington University School of Business
Condé Nast

John Santagate
Richard Kilgore
Jeff Bezos
James Bailey

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The New York Times
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We have to praise—nay, venerate—humans for what makes them such good laborers.What’s actually happening right now, in automation generally as well as in Amazon’s own warehouses, is robots performing parts of jobs.“The human element is not going away anytime soon,” says John Santagate, research director of service robotics at IDC, which does market research. It's about identifying the right tasks to automate, and allow your people to do other more fulfilling things, or do the things humans do better and faster.”Take Amazon’s approach to a Colorado sorting center (where packed boxes are sorted and shipped, in contrast to fulfilment centers, where the boxes are packed with your products). Robots are still far too stupid to do that task.Same goes in fulfillment centers, like the one in Minnesota where workers are striking today, and where human workers fill boxes with products. The fabled human-free, lights-out warehouse, where machines zip along in darkness because only puny humans need photons, wouldn’t even make sense in Amazon’s robotic sorting center, because these robots navigate with cameras.“I think the current step we're in, which is human-robot collaboration, is going to be more effective for a long period of time,” says Santagate.

As said here by Matt Simon