I followed my robot vacuum around today. Using it for spot-cleaning, I’d move it, turn it on, and then stand over it like a football coach on OTAs. “Move left,” I’d tell it. “Get that fur. Come on, pick it up, pick it up. That’s it. Good job.”

Doing this presented me with a feeling that I was cleaning, but I also felt empowered. I controlled the bot.

Maybe, too, I was seeing the future. Robots and automation are taking over more jobs each day, with plans for greater shifts on the near-horizon. But bots and automation might require intervention and guidance, as my Roomba does. We may have a new job category opening, bot-tender.

It could be the hot new thing, but I don’t think it’ll pay much.


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