Firms tag workers to improve efficiency

This seems to be an article straight out of the book Manna:

Firms tag workers to improve efficiency

From the article: Another article on the same topic: This is the wrist tag that makes your time at work more productive - or turns you into a robot.

Read the book Manna to see exactly where this trend takes us.

Wow! This really is Manna-ish. I'm sure a lot of people will decry the loss of autonomy or whatever, but everytime I see road construction crews standing around doing nothing (which seems to be their primary endeavor) while I'm stuck in traffic in a work zone I wish they had some sort of labor-monitoring technology installed! And actually this monitoring stuff will just quickly lead companies to realize how superfluous human labor is, thus speeding the advent of the Robotic Nation.
The most obvious aspect of Manna, from its first appearance, was its immediate practicability -- the (bio)robots had been in place for decades; all that remained lacking was the automated manager. Interesting that Britain is the first to experience 'this brave new world' -- if they think they can excape it, they've got a hard 'wake up' coming. - blzbob
According to the articles, this technology was imported from the US. Do you have any idea about what its penetration in the US is?
Here's an article which details the technology:


"The voice system delivers audible work instructions to employees through headsets, who confirm actions verbally via the microphone, providing real-time updating of the warehouse management database."

"With voice, accuracy typically rises to 99.99% due to increased operator focus, immediate feedback if an error occurs and elimination of keystrokes."

"voice cuts training time in half compared to other technologies. That's because the system directs the operator in a step-by-step fashion"

"Associated Wholesale Grocers' (Kansas City, KS) cut shortages 11%, mispicks 25% and returns 50% after implementation of a voice system at its warehouse in Kansas City, according to a white paper by Aaron Miller, principal at Tompkins Associates (Raleigh, NC), a warehouse and supply chain consultancy. A voice system at Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream Holdings, Inc. (Oakland, CA) generated similar results: a 30% reduction in mispicks and a 14% gain in productivity."

It looks like it might already be implemented in warehouses across the country.

Here's another site about the technology:

According to this article at Computer Weekly, a grocery wholesaler experience was dramatic. "In the first 12 weeks picking errors fell by 90% to 0.01%. In the past four weeks errors have been almost eliminated, with only one error in 60,000 cases"

"...and the richest 8% suddenly became the richest 1%, as the wealthiest of humans bought out their competitors, stripped their physical assets down to their component parts, and added those parts to their ever-growing pool of natural resources. And soon, machines were made that could harness those resources and use them to create anything - anything at all.

And so it was, that - instead of using their machines to feed the rest of mankind, or clothe them, or provide them with shelter - the richest of men stood on the backs of the rest of their kind, using their machines to build monuments in their name.

And so it was that a rebellion rose up among the most brilliant - and most overlooked - of the stepped-upon: the skilled layperson, who, with a mighty stroke of skill as an electrician or engineer, reconstituted the rich man's machines into tools to save their fellow man. And these men were hunted down by the richest of the rich and killed for their crimes against the World Owners.

But the story would not end there, no, for the poorest, the weakest, they would still yet rise up against the World Owners, they would reconstitute their machines into weapons of destruction and damnation, and they would destroy the world instead of saving it, if only to spite those who once did the same in the name of fortune and greed."

...sounds like an interesting future to me. I hope you've all brushed up on your electrical work :)
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