A positive review of one of Amazon Fresh’s tech-heavy locations has ignited a fierce debate after the video was posted.
TikTok user @DaPoets shared the video just under a week ago. In the video, he goes through the aisles of the Amazon Fresh store and picks various items to add to his cart. As each item is placed in his cart, it shows up on an in-cart display. When he’s done, he simply pushes the cart through the exit, at which point all of the items are automatically charged to his Amazon account.
“I love the technology in Amazon Fresh,” he says at the beginning of the video.
His video currently has over 580,000 views.
@dapoets #AmazonFresh #shopping #groceries #groceryshopping ♬ Love You So – The King Khan & BBQ Show
Amazon first rolled out the Amazon Dash cart in 2020. According to Amazon, the cart works using “a combination of computer vision algorithms and sensor fusion to identify items you put in the cart.” This is in contrast to Amazon Go, which uses a range of cameras and sensors placed around the store to detect whether an item has been removed off the shelf and into your cart or bag.
At first, TikTokers were as excited as @DaPoets about the new technology.
“That’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen,” one user wrote.
“That’s dope,” another said.
“This is great!” a third stated. “Better than self checkout.”
However, the conversation soon turned to the potential workers forced out of work by new technology like that seen in Amazon Go.
“I wonder how many workers this will displace,” a user questioned.
“All the real jobs taken though is a tough one to eat,” another user said.
In the comments section, @DaPoets countered that “someone has to build and service the tech, stock the shelves, fulfill the orders.”
As of right now, it is unclear how much Amazon Go and Amazon Fresh will displace workers. While some research has been done into self-checkout machines, Amazon’s new checkout system is too new for there to be any long-term study done on its impact on the job market. However, many sources, such as the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Future of Jobs Report, agree that jobs like cashiers are “expected to become increasingly redundant” as automation increases and technology improves.
The Daily Dot reached out to @DaPoets via email.
Update May 5, 8:21am CT: In an email to Daily Dot, Terrence (@DaPoets) shared his thoughts about the idea that Amazon Fresh and stores like it will eliminate jobs.
“Well that’s just what that is: an idea,” he says. “The reality is, when I go to an Amazon Fresh there are employees everywhere, and I immediately noticed that there were more people working there than my local Ralphs & Gelsons grocery stores. Amazon Fresh has employees doing a range of tasks like your traditional cashier stations, stocking items in aisles, cooking fresh food, as well as many employees fulfilling orders to be delivered to customers who seemed to have a cart in nearly every other isle. At first glance it’s easy to assume that jobs would be eliminated, but reality shows different.”
He went on to discuss his time in the store. “My experience in the store was about as pleasant as a grocery store can be, I guess. The carts were clean and easy to use. The food was fresh and looked good. The employees were all very helpful when I had a question, and some of them even would say ‘hello’ as we would squeeze by each other with our carts.”
In general, he says, the experience was a good one.
“Overall, shopping at the North Hollywood location I showed in this TikTok video was a pleasant and positive experience, and I have added this Amazon Fresh location to my grocery store rotation.”
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