You won’t be the only robot to work in Amazon factories—your colleagues Bert, Scooter, and Kermit will exist to manage the efficiency and safety of the human workers who work in those factories, who have struggled to unionize
, and whose work is thankless despite the fact that a huge chunk of the modern economy relies on their ability to do that work. Jim Henson must be proud.
There was a movie that came out recently named Nomadland
that highlighted the kinds of workers who work for Amazon. It wasn’t perfect
, perhaps more positive than working for Amazon actually is, but it tried, and it nonetheless highlights a good point worth heeding: More people will know who you and your Muppet-named friends are than the workers who packed laptops and toaster ovens into containers to be shipped to homes and offices anywhere in the world.
In a way, it’s not your fault, Ernie. You help solve a small element of a problem that your ancestors did imperfectly and your replacements will do a little bit better. Perhaps in a decade, you’ll be replaced with a robot named Fozzie. But let’s face it—for today, maybe this week, you’re the best-known Ernie in the world.
But soon, you’ll be forgotten, just like the workers whose ergonomics you help to improve.
Anyway, let me know if you’d like to chat sometime. I’ve never talked to a robot before. Alexa doesn’t count.