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News Roundup: Cashless Helps Businesses Discriminate Against Low-Income Shoppers

August 9, 2019 Updated: September 8, 2020

Cashless Helps Businesses Discriminate Against Low-Income Shoppers

Age of the “preferred customer”? The move to cashless may be heralded for efficiency, but much of that efficiency comes at the expense of everyday consumers. Businesses often like the move to cashless because it allows them to “self-select” their customers by excluding the 1 in 4 unbanked or underbanked Ameircans. “No broke people allowed” warns one writer who fears that the move to cashless is another symptom of “disdain for poor people.”

Automation Coming for Real Estate Jobs Next

A new study from RS Components looks at which industries could lose the most jobs due to automation by 2030. It’s not always what you think, though: yes, retail and manufacturing are on the list, but so are many other jobs that folks have thought are automation proof. Around a quarter of the jobs in the legal profession and a third of the jobs in property and real estate could also go the way of the dodo bird. White collar professionals update your resume: 2030 is only 11 years away.

Health Risks for Women and People of Color with Artificial Intelligence

Women and people of color are often poorly served by artificial intelligence, in large part because the datasets used can often have discriminatory problems.

With hospitals now trying to manage healthcare with AI and these systems often relying on imperfect data, there’s a real risk to many patients’ health.

In one case, an AI system recommended less treatment for asthma patients who come down with pneumonia, despite both diseases affecting the lungs. The reason? It didn’t take into account the aggressive treatment for the asthma that was helping the patient recover so it thought those pneumonia patients were doing better on their own.

Marty the Robot? “A Glimpse into Our Hell-ish Future”

Stop & Shop’s much heralded Marty the Robot continues it’s relentless expansion – now appearing in stores on Long Island, New York. Often described as a more expensive and less useful Roomba, it’s leaving a trail of puzzled customers in its wake as it patrols the aisles. The robot doesn’t clean spills – it just shouts and flashes when it finds one leading one customer to cry out “CHRIST Marty leave me ALONE.”

Number of the Week: 3

That’s how many jobs are left on the Goldman Sachs equities trading desk. Once home to 500 high-paying, high-powered Wall Street jobs, it’s now done by just three workers thanks to automation and artificial intelligence. This might give people in the financial industry second thoughts about such aggressive investments in technology that is automating jobs.


Any upcoming stories about the impact of automation on the retail industry and the economy?

If you’re interested in speaking with UFCW, email awhite@www.ufcw.org for a quote, statistics, or interviews with workers in retail and other sectors of the economy.