11 September 2018

Amazon is Evil, Part Many

Amazon applied for a patent that would literally put its workers in cages.

Following a mild media sh%$ storm, they are now saying that this was, "A bad idea," and that they would never do this.

Yeah, right:
No one ever said working at Amazon was a relaxed experience. The e-commerce giant is well known for its taxing workplace culture, but putting warehouse workers in cages seems a bit extreme, even for Amazon.

But a patent, granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to Amazon in 2016, would make that dystopian cubicle a reality. The patent shows a cage built for a human working in robot work zones, a small work station atop a robot trolley like the kind already used in Amazon warehouses to move shelving. The patent was highlighted in a study by two artificial intelligence (AI) researchers, New York University distinguished research professor Kate Crawford and director of the research lab Share Foundation Vladan Joler. In their analysis, Crawford and Joler noted “an extraordinary illustration of worker alienation, a stark moment in the relationship between humans and machines.”

When the study was reported by news outlets including The Seattle Times, there was (predictable) blowback on social media. Amazon senior vice president of operations Dave Clark even weighed in on Twitter, explaining that even “bad” ideas are submitted for patents, and that the company has no plans to implement the cages.
Yeah, right.

They are saying, "Never," but I am hearing, "And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!"


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