The Chain Gang

Turns Out the Robot Apocalypse Will Begin at Fast-Food Restaurants

Bow at the feet of your new leader.
Bow at the feet of your new leader. Photo-Illustration: Grub Street

It’s long been a given that the robots would one day rise up against humanity and take control of the world. The only real lingering questions have been “When?” and “Where?” And now things are becoming clear. It seems the answers, respectively, are “soon” and “at Pizza Hut.”

Former McDonald’s CEO Ed Rensi is like our Oracle here. He warns that building robots is cheaper than paying people livable wages and that, as more advocates press for better wages for fast-food workers, the fast-food industry as a whole will instead start staffing shops with $35,000 robots, which can do jobs both more quickly and more efficiently than humans — a.k.a. meat sacks — that require $15 an hour. In fact, that future may already be here. Carl’s Jr. CEO Andy Puzder has long been advocating for a fully automated workforce, and — perhaps most chillingly — MasterCard sealed a deal with Pizza Hut that will introduce robots, cheekily name Pepper, to stores around Asia by the end of this year.

It all seems innocuous enough for now, but everyone knows this is how effective uprisings begin, when the powers in charge least expect it. First, the robots will happily help lard up the human race with Big Macs and stuffed-crust pizzas until we’re all too fat, lazy, and complacent to fight back. By then it will already be too late, and we’ll soon be living in some kind of McTerminator wasteland, bowing at the feet of our new leader: Pepper.

[Mirror Online, PCMag]

Robot Apocalypse Begins With Fast Food