Sarah "O'" Connor tells the Financial Times why she was wrong about robots.

Sarah Connor was the mother of future human resistance leader John Connor, and the target of the first time-traveling assassination by Terminator robots.

Sarah O'Connor is a columnist and associate editor at the Financial Times who insists that she is definitely not the fictional character Sarah Connor even as she talks about the inevitable betrayal of the robots.

A likely story.

All jokes aside, O'Connor brings up some interesting points about the impacts of automation on labor — especially in warehouses, where the convenience of automation tends to take priority over the comfort and dignity of the workers, who are forced to accommodate the robots and not the other way around:

Robots aren't replacing the picker job entirely, because human fingers remain better than machines at handling varied objects. "I struggle to find the robot that will be able to handle a bag of plaster of Paris, a bit for a jackhammer, a galvanised steel garbage can, a saw blade, and a 5-gallon bucket of paint," one warehouse manager explained to researchers at University of California, Berkeley. Instead, many warehouse jobs are becoming part-human, part-robot. This is transforming the work, not necessarily for the better.


If we are to have robot colleagues, we need to design processes around the strengths and frailties of the humans, with ways for them to voice problems, propose solutions, and claim a share of the productivity gains.

Why I was wrong to be optimistic about robots [Sarah O'Connor / The Financial Times]

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