Fast Food Effect

McDonald uses standardization procedure producing exactly same products for its global operation, technology contributed large amount successful that cooker doesn’t need to possess knowledgeable cooking skill. Cooker are easy enough being replaced who requires having minimum training. Of course, fast food industry speed is key component. Technology is outstanding working on precision dispatch such as quantity sauces, deep fry timing control, cook temperature control etc. Most of time, we thought that technology will assist human, will not replace human, because of machine doesn’t think. Maybe, it worth to think again, machine will not replace human, will it? A term call “Fast Food Effect” that deskilled jobs requirement, reduce wages, and eventually replace human over long time. That “Fast Food Effect” applies more than just fast food industry from Martin Ford’s book “The rise of the robots”.

“The fast food effect may loom large for skilled workers in many fields. While machines have not yet completely substituted for fast food workers on a large scale, technology has deskilled the job and made the worker largely interchangeable. The effect has been to keep these jobs firmly anchored in the minimum wages category. The interpretation of Fast Food Effect is long before robots are able to complete replace these worker, technology may deskill the jobs and drive wages down. A classic example of deskilling involves London taxi drivers. Entering this professional requires memorizing an extraordinary amount of information about London’s street layout. This is referred to as “The Knowledge” and has been required of cab drivers since 1865. Neuroscientist Eleanor Maguire of University College London found that all this memorization actually resulted in changes to the driver’s brain: London cabbies, on average, developed a larger memory centre (or hippocampus) than people in other occupations. The advent of GPS-based satellite navigation has, of course, greatly reduced the value of that knowledge. Taxi drivers possessing The Knowledge – who drive the famous “black” cab (no long black, but now covered in colourful advertising) – still dominate in London, but this is largely due to regulation. Drivers without The Knowledge have to be pre-boked; they are not allowed to be flagged down on the street. Of course, new services like Uber, which lets your book a cab with your smartphone, may soon make the act of flagging down a taxi itself obsolete. The taxi drivers may eventually be replaced completely but automated cars, but long before that happens, technology might well deskill their jobs and lower their wages. Perhaps regulation will save the London cabbies from this fate, but workers in many other field will not be so lucky.” (Ford, 2015)

Ford, M. (2015). The rise of the robots. London, Great Britain: Oneworld Publications.