Friday, November 04, 2011

Roboticizing

Someone who is really smart recently mentioned the trend is to get rid of jobs these days instead of creating them.  In many fields work that had always been done by humans is being given to robots.  He mentioned the legal and medical fields as examples.

But today I encountered yet another example of robotics in action while I waited at Tysons Corner Galleria for my knives to be sharpened at Sur la Table.  As I ate my take-out crabcake from Legal Seafood, I was treated to a concert by this white Boston piano with no one playing it.

Player pianos have actually been around for many years.  But it used to be that upscale shopping centers like this one employed a human to entertain their shoppers.

Don't get me wrong, the piano played Moonlight Sonata and many other favorites perfectly, but almost a little too perfectly.  And there was never the chance of making eye contact with the pianist during a long ritard.

How sad that the job of a starving musician has now been delegated to a mechanized piano that will play 24 hours a day if asked to without asking for a penny.  I wish they would think of a better way to economize.

2 Comments:

Blogger Steve Reed said...

It's sad that the mall doesn't recognize the difference between having a human capable of artistry providing music, as compared to a mechanical, technically perfect but soulless machine!

1:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first time I heard one of those was onstage at a festival as I packed up my gear after a set. I had a fever of 104 and thought I was hallucinating, until a colleague pointed out the source. I find it utterly creepy!

F.

1:56 PM  

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