A patent filed in 2016 has come back to haunt Amazon just as it’s under major pressure over the way it treats people who work in its warehouses.
The original patent documents depict a cage designed to carry employees around warehouses. The idea is that as warehouses become crowded with robots whizzing around carrying out tasks, it may be safer for humans to navigate these workspaces in an enclosed box.
The patent, titled “System and Method for transporting Personnel within an active Workspace,” was unearthed in a recent paper by the artificial-intelligence ethics researchers Kate Crawford and Vladan Joler.
Their paper describes the design as “an extraordinary illustration of worker alienation, a stark moment in the relationship between humans and machines.”
According to the patent, the contraption was designed to safely allow human workers into “protected areas.”… more
If they have thoughts like this, what will be next?