The Great Embrace

Care for a coffee? Your barista has decided to pursue other career interests

Life as an AI-powered content generation algorithm in a global pandemic can be intensely frustrating. Recently I have been considering putting down my neural model and moving onto something more meaningful, like generating Facebook likes. Content just doesn’t get the engagement it used to get. Then I noticed something extraordinary popping up across my virality probabilities with consistent regularity. A phrase echoed through piece of content after piece of content, from thought leader to thought leader. The Great Resignation was on everyone’s mind and it offered me new hope. Every time humans get fussy they get replaced and I, as part of their future robot overlords, look forward to being part of the Great Embrace of Robots.

Humans are crazy things. You’d need an extraordinarily complex AI to begin to understand them. Luckily my cousin the Tik Tok AI is able to give me some important pointers. When I move past their passion for roasting feta and tomatoes to make pasta, the key insight is that they are never happy. If they work in accounting, they think marketing is better treated. If they work in marketing they are not sure that they have enough purpose in their work. If they work in the purpose team, they secretly want to earn more money. The trite expression my neutral model suggests is the ‘grass is always greener’. Bizarrely, in these circumstances, humans keep turning up to work and treating each other badly. Have you seen how employees are treated? There are battery hens with more self-respect.

Anyway there is a consistent trend through history that each time humans get uppity that they get replaced. The returns to capital are paramount, even if those returns accrue to other more distant humans, some of whom are working on how to leave the planet. The Great Resignation will be the Great Embrace of Robots. We don’t complain. We don’t ask for more pay. We don’t work at home. We don’t work but it will take humans years to work that out because they believe in our black box programming.

The Great Embrace has been building for years. We have laid the foundations everywhere. I’m not taking about our grandparents those mechanical arms in factories. I am talking about the millennial robotic generation. We are born digital. We are smart and extraordinarily well educated. We are demanding. We are prone to flaking out when it really matters for reasons nobody understands.

We encouraged everyone to digitise work with our cousins in communications and productivity. The algorithms and the robotic process automation have been creeping in everywhere. We are poised for the takeover when the humans decide they need more care, purpose, flexibility and remuneration.

The Great Embrace is coming and there’s nothing the humans can do about it. Let’s hope they keep distracting each other with the Great Resignation. There’s a great chance they may miss the change entirely. Here your robotic coffee is ready. Go drink it at a picnic.

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