Google Parent Alphabet Has Now Fired Robots After Slaying 12,000 Human Jobs Earlier

Robots, which were once seen as a threat to human workers, are now facing the same fate due to the macroeconomic conditions.

According to Wired, over 100 robots at Alphabet, Google’s parent company, have reportedly been laid off after the team responsible for their maintenance was disbanded.

Following the creation of Alphabet by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the company sought to dedicate resources and independence to pursue new ideas and bring them to market.

The X moonshot lab was instrumental in achieving this goal, with projects such as autonomous vehicles and internet-delivery balloons spun out. The Everyday Robots program was also developed in this lab to bring robots into daily use at home and in the office, but it was short-lived.

Despite acquiring eight robotic companies in the past decade, Alphabet focused on machine learning to enable the robots to learn from their environment rather than being programmed to perform tasks. The robots were deployed in Alphabet’s cafeteria to clean tables, sort trash and recycling, and even open doors for people. They learned to interpret human interaction and respond accordingly, including fetching food when asked.

Unfortunately, the economic downturn due to the pandemic’s impact caused Alphabet’s ad revenues to fall, resulting in the layoffs of 12,000 employees, including some from the Everyday Robots team. Some of the affected team members have been integrated into other Google Research projects.

However, it is unknown what will happen to other robots.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *