Tuesday, May 08, 2018

English majors and actors to be replaced by robots.

We all know that the actual career path of people majoring in English and Drama (and History, the various "Studies" and etc.) usually involves waiting tables and slinging java at Starbucks. Eventually they either get Real Jobs or they get married, but barista is where a very large number of young scholars end up for a while.

This will no longer be the case.

The robot revolution is here, at least for your morning caffeine fix. Cafe X Technologies is a new, $25,000 automated barista designed by the award-winning team behind Dr. Dre's Beats headphones and speakers: the Ammunition Group. The Jetsons-style coffeemaker can sling 120 cups of joe per hour at specs that satisfy finicky roasters (and project partners) like Intelligentsia, Ritual and Equator.

This is a small-volume, fancy machine that is designed to be a showpiece bit of performance art in the lobby of a fancy hotel or big office building. Even at that, it is only $25k. It replaces a human, and you're going to see a lot of machines like this Real Soon. Because $15 minimum wage, that's why.

She's praying this thing doesn't take her crappy job from her.
The joke of course is the the revolution already happened, and we didn't notice. The machine that makes your Starbucks or McDonald's cappuccino is a fully-automated unit that costs more than $25k. Your "barista" is a minimum-wage schlub who pushes a button and moves the cup from one place to another. They don't know how to make a cappuccino, or a latte, or any of it. The machine does everything.

This is why your Starbucks Italian-style coffee drink tastes boring and crappy. Because it isn't made on a proper cappuccino maker, and the kid running it knows -nothing-. Which is why I don't go to Starbucks if I can help it. I go to Second Cup, or any ACTUAL ITALIAN CAFE that has a manual cappuccino maker, and a manual grinder, and a barista that knows an Americano from a latte. Then I get a good coffee, and it is usually cheaper than the Starbucks trash. And the workers are usually nicer than Starbucks too, without the forced, brittle, fake cheerfulness.

The Phantom Coffee Snob

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