Atlas will end the misery of delivering pizza

Thursday, 25 February, 2016

In Greek mythology, Zeus ordered Atlas to stand at the western edge of the Earth and hold up The Heavens on his shoulders for ever. It’s a rotten job, but someone’s got to do it, eh? The same goes for delivering pizza on a day like today, when the streets are covered with snow and the guys at Joey’s have to put on their winter gear and trudge through the slushy streets bearing that delightful Pizza Azzurri (salami, mozzarella and tomato) or that delicious Pizza Waikiki (pineapple, ham and cheese). Luckily for them, or perhaps not, Atlas will put an end to that slog.

Atlas is a product of Boston Dynamics, which is owned by Alphabet, and the company released a video yesterday of its “baby”, in which it picks up boxes, walks through the snow and gets back up after being knocked down. A day in the life of the pizza delivery guy, in other words. The bigger picture, of course, is that Atlas signals the end of physical labour as we know it. We’ll see a dramatic increase in industry efficiency as a result of robotics, but the loss of low-skilled jobs will be devastating and the consequences for society will be dramatic.

This just in: Pizza Delivery Driver Kidnapped and Robbed. “Police say a man and a woman approached the driver and forced him at gunpoint to get into their car. They then drove the driver to an ATM where they withdrew money from his bank account, and stole other items from him.” Cannot see that happening to Atlas. Meanwhile, the snow continues to fall outside. Pizza for supper, perhaps.


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