Make no mistake about it, the machines are coming. Except instead of traveling through time and trying to kill future leaders of the human resistance, they’ll instead be flipping our burgers, bagging our food, and taking our orders. And they’re not going to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Robert Patrick. Instead they’re going to look like this:

Along with the ability to take orders, Pepper can sense whether you’re happy or sad and will “adjust the ordering process” depending on your mood. I’m not joking. The term “digital empathy” is used and I find that immensely creepy.

This is the future, though. The Yum! corporation is already testing robotic servers in Pizza Hut and KFC restaurants around the world, and Taco Bell (also a Yum! brand) is testing out Tacobot, a new way to order from their online app. You can even ask how it’s feeling and what its favorite movie is before asking it for a bean burrito.

All of this is being accelerated by the increasing minimum wage, which is making the prospect of robotic employees more and more appealing to companies.

So how can you avoid being replaced by a machine? In short: get a job in the medical field. While some of the more rudimentary medical jobs will no doubt become automated at some point in the future, plenty won’t be. Jobs that revolve around communication, like social work, therapy, and psychology, can’t be performed by machines, at least not those powered by current technology. Same goes for elementary school teachers, who need to really connect with children. And while machines can perform the precise, complex functions needed for surgery and dentistry, they don’t have the bedside manner required to ease the patient, nor the adaptive qualities needed to make tough decisions when you don’t have all the data. Surgeons need to be able to think on their feet, too.


No pun intended, but jobs that require a human touch are the ones that are safe. Machines can’t put people at ease. What they can do is grab a hot scoop of fries and dump them into a bag.

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