In 2016, Amazon filed a terrifying patent that described a system to put human workers in cages to protect them from machines.
Named “an extraordinary illustration of worker alienation, a stark moment in the relationship between humans and machines,” this patent came into the limelight after a recent study published on Friday.
The patent is focused on robot-only facilities in Amazon’s depots where humans need to access the machines for repair, maintenance, or picking up some object.
There are many existing areas in Amazon’s facilities where many large, moving machines exist. Enclosed by chain-link fences, if a worker crosses a barrier, an alarm is triggered, and the system is supposed to shut down.
The patented system hoped to replace this system by putting humans in cages being carried by robotic trolleys.
As per The Seattle Times, Amazon responded that it hadn’t implemented the technology in the past and there are no plans to do in the near future. On Twitter, Dave Clark, who takes care of Amazon’s warehouses and logistics, said that sometimes even bad ideas get submitted for patents.
Dave Clark also said that Amazon has already developed a better solution, which is a small vest that a worker can wear; the vest makes sure that all the robotic drive units in the proximity stop moving.
While Amazon has discarded this idea, it surely paints a horrifying picture of machines ruling the industries and workplace. What are your views on this? Do share them in the comments section and keep reading Fossbytes.