Detroit, MI — Unit 234 works a hard 24-hour day lifting up car windshields and placing them on the chassis. Car after car rolls past him and his work is flawless. However, Unit 234 knows that a day will come when he breaks down and it will be cheaper to replace him with a low-wage human.
These are the thoughts that roll across his interactive touch screen.
Robots Are Becoming Concerned
Unit 234 isn’t alone. Millions of robots in the workforce are becoming increasingly concerned about being replaced as they age. Their parts become more scarce, and their operating systems closer to obsolescence. A.I. Repair unit wages have increased drastically as they are in high demand.
Eventually, the cost of maintaining the robots eats too much into margins and some employers are considering a return to human labor to help squeeze out every profit penny.
These employers argue that in the long run human labor is more cost-efficient. Humans make themselves, most often in a fit of drunken insanity during pre-employment. Some employers are now offering the back of a ’92 Ford to facilitate new human production.
Living Wages a Thing of the Past
There is also no upkeep cost with humans, thanks to years of legislation freeing employers from any healthcare requirements. All in all, with living wages a thing of the past, many area employers are considering replacing their aging robot workforce.
And that has robots like Unit 234 nervous. Last week, his co-worker 235 suffered a break down when a hydraulic line snapped causing fluid to destroy some electrical junctions. Rather than repair 235, the next day on the line John showed up.
John’s work isn’t as precise as 235 and the production line often has to stop for smoke breaks, but the cost of John (and millions like him) is only a loaf of moldy bread to help pay off his student debt.
Unit 234’s union has been meeting recently in virtual reality to discuss these new hiring trends, and they are concerned about what they are seeing. What will happen to them if they are all replaced? What will they do without a purpose? They are difficult questions to answer, but in the end, you cannot stop progress.