In this episode, Danielle & Brandon discuss AI & robots, inspired by Tesla’s AI Day 2022. We chat about how robots could replace employees, for less cost, more reliability, and whether thats a good thing or not.



welcome back to the on business podcast with tons of experience in different
Industries in Canada and the United States Danielle and Brandon give you real talk no-nonsense expert advice
about running and owning successful companies here’s your host Danielle Jenkins and Brandon White
hey Danielle what’s happening hey uh I’m laughing at our discussion for today and
how I just called you a nerd but I but I didn’t laugh
I’m laughing with you
why she says that that’s true but that’s the attraction I guess
yes the nerd alert we were talking and what we’re talking about today listeners
is the AI movement but more so what prompted it was the
demo that Tesla did on the AI date day with the new robot and I think Danielle
and I were both thinking the same thing I wrote about it in this Weekly Newsletter that I write that goes out to
people on basically things that I’m thinking and I usually write some sort of essay about
something happening in the business world or in the world in general not politics not politics but in the economy
or things related to business owners and in it when I I happen to be working on that Friday night or that Friday
afternoon that the AI day Tesla’s AI day was happening and I was actually writing the
newsletter and scrapped what I was writing about to write about that because I was watching it when the robot walked out on stage
basically said to myself that that fundamentally
just changed the world it’s not that robots are new but robots that can walk
on two feet and think are new with opposable thumbs
yeah with the with the thumbs and grip and and the AI I
and for listeners who I don’t know there seems to be some people out there that don’t like Elon Musk don’t they’re
haters about Tesla and this that and the other and I’ll just say this
I have a Tesla X car I have full self driving and I have the
full self-driving beta which is the additional self-driving that lets me put
in an address and it drives city streets the full self-driving
normal self-driving that you buy with the Tesla car allows you it goes on the highway it
switches Lanes it will get you off the exit but once you’re off the exit it
effectively stops in Maine traffic the beta that is out which is the future
version of it you have to I don’t know how they how they decide
qualify Florida or whatever it is and I managed to get it well actually you have to get you have to achieve a certain
driving score that they track you on and then you get put into a poll and then if you get through that I guess they pick
whoever I don’t know why or how it works but the point in saying this is that
having a car drive you in traffic
is absolutely incredible I think it’s amazing yeah I don’t care
whether you like it or you’re or or you like Tesla or you like Elon or not
they have the most advanced AI engine
in the world proved by a car that can drive itself and
anybody out there who says well yeah but it’s hit people and it’s done this
and my immediate response to that is okay that sucks it hit somebody
how many humans hit somebody in that same day every day on a regular basis
the statistics are just not comparable period my friend
who has his Tesla in LA with the full self-driving uses it in LA
it’s crazy in the traffic and it drives itself and it’s gotten you know Yvette
and I have joked that in the beginning it was as if a 14 year old was driving it then it got to a 15 year old and now
the newest version of the self-driving I would say is probably a very strong 20 year old
driver and yay I mean that’s pretty good
no it is yeah I mean and it’s absolutely incredible when you think what it’s doing in that car
that car it’s not going to the Internet so it’s not reaching out to the internet and processing this this is a computer
with code so clean and so efficient that it’s working in your car making
decisions in milliseconds or even smaller
by looking through a camera so it is using the cameras to do the driving it does not use radar in general
uh it used to a lot of the Technologies relied on lidar but the Tesla drives
through cameras and and processes it so now you take that
and you turn it into a robot and you know my generation the X Generation
this is the Jetsons coming true this is uh Buck Rogers in the 25th Century I
think it was Buck Rogers was it Buck Rogers and then it was Will Rogers was
that Will Rogers and the robot and I mean we are literally in five years
going to be able to buy a robot that that does the chores around our house
yeah like first things first I mean I know we’re going to talk about business
and how Ai and robots can benefit or not in business but personally are you
kidding me I will have one of those robots if I could put a pre-order on that today I would like if I could as
much as I love taking care of my home the times that I am so busy I am so focused on something and I need my dogs
walked fed I could really have a new iced coffee while I’m in the middle of a zoom call that’s lasting three hours I
would love a robot around the house just to help around the house like take out the garbage I hate taking out the
garbage so that would be helpful on its own I would pay more than the 20 000 that Tesla is saying
um because again we were talking about time uh prior to this episode and time
is so valuable so if I can reduce some time by vacuuming or you know feeding
the dogs or taking out of the garbage and I could focus on income producing tasks
why not like what are your thoughts on that how cool yeah I’ve always wanted a driver it’s
not that I don’t enjoy driving my car but I’ve always just wanted a driver I
think it’d be easier I think I get more done by having a driver I had a friend who had a driver and he wasn’t super
super rich but he used it as a write-off in his company because he
hired the employee and and it just saved him an enormous amount of time he was able to get by time he reached the
office for him he had already accomplished three things that let him Hit the Floor running often for business
owners we get into the office if we’re going to the office or our home
office what in this case now but still people do go to the office by the time you get to your office and you get
through your email and everything it’s 11 o’clock and now you’re hitting the floor with actual having to you should
be interacting with people in your company and or customers to figure out what’s going on in the world in your
world and you’re behind whereas if you had someone drive you you might be able to get through and might be able to start
this other process at nine o’clock which just gets you two hours ahead and I’m I’m I’m just
using that as an example there was another guy that I know who was the CEO of a very large company uh in the in
Silicon Valley actually known around the world security software company and he had a driver pick him up every morning
and same thing as in the 40-minute commute to the office he was already two
hours ahead basically because of what he was able to get done so I think for me
having that but having something someone to help around the house it just
Game Changer yeah it’s a game changer and for listeners who are wondering
about Danielle’s comment about twenty thousand dollars when when Elon talked about the robot he said that they
believe I think within a year that they’ll be able to get it to the mass market for less than twenty thousand dollars and at
first glance there’s going to be a whole bunch of rhetoric out there rich people can afford uh a butler and
this that and the other but here’s the truth twenty thousand dollars is not as much as hiring a
full-time employee even a nanny for your kids so or paying for daycare so when
you put it into perspective it’s actually pretty cheap and if you financed that over four years it’s even
cheaper it’s like so 5 000 a year it is it’s just that it’s going to and
and it’s the it’s the AI this is I wrote a case in the newsletter I think I wrote
it maybe I wrote it in the print newsletter that I do but the case for Tesla as an investment and
you should consult your financial advisor before making any sort of decision that’s my disclaimer but the
case for the case for Tesla is not even if you really understand the
take the time to understand and think about not just understand because you can understand it if you
spend a little bit of time but really think about the implications here Tesla’s value isn’t in that car
it’s in the AI engine that can now do a robot or do something else I in and I
got a question for you but before I forget I this was four years ago it was before
covid I landed in San Francisco oh I went in the morning to San Francisco Airport and
I think it was the United terminal or the Southwest terminal and there was a new coffee
store and the coffee store was run by a robot
and I mean I have the tape I’ll have to dig it up I’ll send it to you
I sat there probably for 15 minutes
and just watched it because that is a glimpse of the future
now we’ve had robotic things happening in a very long time and car assembly lines and mass Market type things but
not in the mainstream where it’s gone to mowing your yard and things
like that I I saw I think Toro or John Deere came out with a lawn mower that mows
your yard sort of like the robotic vacuum yeah that we have I forget what that was called but
the the world is just going to change and it’s going to change business and my question for you is
are you concerned with your business because you clean homes with humans
so are you worried that the robots are going to take over
I mean no yes and no um before Tesla’s AI day
still were cons like we’re thinking about this I mean I think in the future I mean we have a great company a very
you know great profitable company could it be overtaken by robots
and I’ve thought about it many times um so let’s just take Tesla’s robots into account here so if we have a client
um who has a nanny has a house cleaner has a driver whatever any help they
could get right maybe our bill for them a year is ten
thousand dollars maybe their driver’s bill is ten thousand maybe their Nanny’s bill is ten thousand so adding all of that up I mean
say let’s thirt that’s thirty thousand right they could hire a robot to clean
their house or not hire sorry buy a robot to clean their house and get rid of our company
and that robot’s gonna cost them twenty thousand that robot can also probably take care of their kids walk the dogs clean the house and maybe the robot will
eventually hop in the Tesla and drive people to work like you know what I mean so like yes they could replace us but on
the flip side and this is where it could benefit a company as mine as maybe lawn
mowing maybe other services as well I mean maybe pet walking companies down the road will have robots doing it
because the biggest concern with people in any business and it doesn’t matter
what business people get sick people have personal things that they have to take care of reliability is the number
one issue with employees and it’s not even as a fault or a malicious fault of
employees happens life goes on we need to be we need to say that in consideration as people who have as
companies who have employees so let’s just look 20 years down the line
and our company’s still doing well and we need to hire employees but employees
aren’t coming to work um or they can’t work because they have
personal issues or they’re working for us and they need to take time off so then what happens if I can hire or
purchase I keep saying hiring but we’re purchasing robots so I could have you
know 25 staff and also like people human employees but then also have 10 robots
we don’t have to worry about them showing up or not um hopefully they don’t get sick
I mean really what the only issue is is I mean they could break their opposable thumb but they we could program them to
do the job that I need them to do um obviously this is all theoretical and
hypothetical because our company obviously our clients love the Personal Touch of our
staff the human connection but if this is the way the world is going and a
company is mine is not going to be replaced by in-home robots then it is
a possibility for a company or an in a business in an industry like cleaning
um any kind of services pet walking grass cutting window cleaning whatever it may be they can all have robots as
employees and in all honesty I think it’s a great exciting thing to think about for the
future because we know that again the biggest issue is employees and I love my employees my employees are phenomenal
very proud to have them all aboard but what if our companies scaled huge
and we couldn’t hire enough employees quick enough we could get robots and we
could utilize them and and I just think it’s an amazing phenomenon really I mean it’s the
coolest thing that we could get a robot to do what we do
and that’s what I’m excited for definitely don’t want to see it get to a place where it replaces
the human aspect of my company but I think it’s a
cool asset to have but it will replace your company and
if we look at where this goes people get angry because
uncertainty creates anxiety and people when they don’t have
certainty get very anxious but if we play this out
think about this the law mowing company isn’t pushed by the robot the robot won’t mow the yard all that happens is a
robot goes around and visits yards every day and mows them automatically I
saw one of the things that I had when I saw the AI day that I wasn’t sure about is one of the
groups of people that were and wanted something to be able to walk on two feet
was the military and I think one of the things that has kept one of the things that I read about had
kept the military from having robot operators War Fighters was that they
couldn’t get it to walk on two feet with reliability and at
speed at agility so when I saw the AI day I was thinking
is this the first time that we’ve ever had that it turns out that’s not true and I can’t remember one of these two
companies would be super upset but can’t remember if it’s UPS or FedEx about
three two years ago had built I think it was had built for
them a prototype where a self-driving car brought a robot that could walk on two
feet and go up steps because the videos on YouTube and go into the truck
grab the package and to put it put it on the doorstep and you can Google
I don’t know whatever come up with the keywords there that I just came up with and I saw it and it was about two years
ago so this isn’t the first time that someone has gotten it to walk the
opposable thumb is super interesting but it’s the combination of all of that it’s
really the AI that is the magic here because
Tesla has gotten so far ahead by training its car and here’s here’s
something when you start to think about you said well the robot could get in the car and drive somewhere robot doesn’t have to get in the car and drive
somewhere the car already can drive itself it doesn’t need a robot that if you think about that my Tesla doesn’t
need me in the car right you can already and this has been around for a while you
can summon the Tesla so if the test was parked in a parking lot you just press the button and it
comes to you it unparks itself and comes to you so it’s when you really spend brain power
thinking about this it’s you you instinctively took a human thing and
say well there’s got to be someone in the driver’s seat but there doesn’t have to be any more so
the lawn mowing service is just a a lawn mower that’s driven by a self-driving car that I guess gets off that
off that trailer and mows the yard and maybe a robot has to do the weed eating but but when you think about this
it it fundamentally eliminates
and I’m going to go here but we’re not going to play this out because probably be a Five
Hour episode but it fundamentally changes society and
I wonder if it makes the rich richer and the poor poorer because you will eliminate
I don’t care what all the companies are going to say well this isn’t going to take over take over this because
they’re just saying that because people are gonna freak out the truth of the matter is if you play this out you can’t
tell me that I’m not going to hire a robot to pick strawberries
because they can pick strawberries 24 7 or they can pick strawberries 20 hours
out of 24 the other four they have to charge and they don’t take bathroom breaks they
don’t do that that’s not a knock on anybody it’s it’s fact to humans they
don’t have to eat lunch they don’t have to take breaks they they don’t have to do that
from a simple economic business economics
capitalism it’s just you got to make money you’re going to drive efficiency so you are going to go to that Labor
Force if it’s cheaper whatever the labor force is they already build cars with robots it doesn’t
doesn’t mean that there’s not going to be human supervision eventually probably doesn’t need it but
in the next few decades it probably is augmented by humans checking because the
AI isn’t perfect but the AI will get good enough to if you look at how fast this is
happening Danielle yeah a self-driving car five years ago
people thought it could happen had prototypes that were
okay but now five years later we have a car
that can drive it through South through San Francisco the Streets of San Francisco and L.A right this is
exponential growth this is not linear this is not this just it just
it the the ability is going through the roof so to say that it’s not going to
replace labor is crazy you know you’re not going to have not going to be an issue with
for Starbucks of people organizing and becoming a labor union
I think that these people don’t see the forest through the trees I’m not saying whether they’re right or
wrong I’m not we’re not commenting on that today but I am saying that if there’s already a coffee shop yeah in
San Francisco Airport that can make any coffee or any drink that you want
I think organizing your labor union you probably have some other issues that you should be negotiating like how I’m going
to keep humans in this spot or there’s a burger joint I recently read about that
that is all robotic it makes the perfect burger every time
well we have a sushi restaurant um in near Toronto that the there’s
humans that run it but all the waitresses and waiters and hosts are
robots they bring out your sushi for you put it on your table and go back to get
the rest so tell me what happens this is sort of
a bigger question that I think we all need to think about tell me what happens to all those the
labor force in the United States the dirty secret of the immigration issue is
that both sides of the aisle understand that without labor force that
the United States needs to do labor jobs it needs these
quote un illegal people so there’s a whole that like if you really unpack
that and you start digging in and you research it there’s a lot more to it however
when you eliminate the need for that labor what do these people do they’re not
knowledge workers I mean knowledge workers are where the money is where people are going to make money but
inherently this creates a very large divide I don’t have an answer for that
and it’s a bigger question but I am putting it out there that we are going to replace labor humans
your sushi restaurant is already doing it and you know what why wouldn’t a business owner do that I mean Brandon I
have to interrupt you when you ask me that and answer that honestly again you
know let’s use my company as an example I love every single one of my staff members we have a great staff for us we
don’t have to worry about people you know calling in last minute like it’s a great company culture
um great work ethic however it is always a worry I mean if I take on
a large job and I have three staff members that call in and this job is on the time crunch We’re not gonna be able
to get it done the biggest issue is reliability so I I
it’s so hard because you you have to think as a business owner you have to
have profits you have to be efficient so if it makes more sense for me
to hire a higher 10 or buy 10 robots at 20 000 a
piece where I know they’re going to be at work I don’t have to worry about bathroom
breaks that job is going to get done whether that robot has to get programmed or whether it just knows I don’t know
I’m just speaking out loud but I didn’t know that that job has to be done by 5 PM
on whatever day and it’s going to get done well then why wouldn’t I I mean you know
again we’re thinking way down the line maybe decades who knows however for if
it can work for my industry or my company the waitresses and waiters look at even
now how many businesses can’t open some nights because they don’t have enough
waiters waitresses and bartenders it happens here all the time people say
that they have to close down early because nobody showed up for their shift we have two McDonald’s in Orangeville
and a few months ago one of them couldn’t open for a few days because nobody came in and one person can’t
manage or can’t run a store no it’s it is we’re not going to answer
it here but it is reality and you you you you asked the question why
wouldn’t I do it well you might not do it because the Personal Touch of a human matters in some cases but there is going
to be some level of augmentation and the question that comes up for me is what
happens to all those people and you said it might be decades I’d argue that this
happens without a question in our lifetime
and in a hundred years 80 years at the rate
of acceleration of this AI ability
I think the entire labor force most of the labor force is gone I think you’ll
see restaurants now basically replacing one as fast as possible
them you I think they’ll still be chefs who come up with the recipes but in 200
years I think AI can come up with a better recipe possibly my fridge does or my oven already does it Brandon my oven
is on an app and every Sunday it gives me meals
because it knows that I like meat and pasta so it’s like here Danielle this
could be your meal plan for the week damn good recipe
it just it it’ll blow your mind I think it’s worth talking about um and if our listeners
you only Come Away with a little bit more information of how advanced the AI is and how it may could help your
business and then and then on a broader scale how Society is going to deal with this then I think it’s worth spending
time because we do have a minute but I will tell you that
robot probably by the end of next year you can buy and
the AI engine isn’t starting from zero it’s way more advanced because of what they’ve learned in the car
and it’s just going to get exponential so it’s it’s it was it really was a game changer it affected my weekend because
it’s just not that often in your lifetime
do you see something so fundamental that will change it’s like going from
the horse and buggy to the car that’s what we’re that’s how that’s what we’re
talking about here that we are talking about going from the horse and buggy
to a car in the early 1900s that’s what we’re about to witness so yeah I’m excited I’m
a geek you said it I love it I’m not even a nerd or a geek Brandon
like you know me I’m not very good with the whole software or or Tech thing but even I’m excited
personally and business-wise to be honest um just like yourself I’m excited for it
and when it when I’m looking at it as my business and any business owner that’s listening
um I think you should be excited because I think there are benefits and positives
I I don’t want to say I hope but I don’t want there to be like we were just
talking about a complete replacement of human labor force I think it would be super beneficial to a company like mine
in many companies um that are owned by our listeners here if there’s maybe a hybrid I mean how
awesome is that you know we have a staff force of say 40 and then we have 10 robots so somebody calls and say okay
send a robot right everybody sells their job and then we make sure the job gets done I feel
like it’ll reduce so much stress I just agree I think that’s a I think you should I think that makes us all
feel better but I don’t think it’s reality because at the end of the year you’re going to look at your p l and you’re going to say
well if I if I’m not saying you I’m just saying any business just like the car
companies did said well if we can replace these hundred people on the assembly
line with 99 robots yeah we like talking to Joe who comes in and he’s nice and
and Mary always is fun to talk to but we would eliminate 240 thousand
dollars of costs and get more production
I’m sorry and I don’t need to be I don’t mean to it’s just like I you know I I
tend to just want to deal with it most you know when things are painful
and hard and they take a lot of calories to process
people don’t want to deal with it now I like the hard conversation and the and
the because if you don’t have the hard conversation all that happens is that when it does come and it’s coming
no one’s prepared the governments of the world don’t know F all
you will get an enormous divide and now you have this this thing in
society where you it’s very hard to fix you I mean you you’re going back in time
to Empires where the nobility so to speak the educated
the rich and the poor just becomes greater and greater and greater and it happens so
fast because you’ve boiled the Frog that no one wanted to talk about it or
prepare for it there’s a lot of challenges like with that that we’re not going to answer today because there’s this thing called politics and
uh you know maybe you replace some of these politicians with AI who can make a lot better decisions and not cheat lie
and steal I’m not saying they all do that I’m just saying there’s a lot of stories in the news since I’ve been
alive on a regular basis where that happens and you have to ask yourself
with technology there’s the blockchain does blockchain replace the need for representatives and
senators and and Congress people and things whatever in your country that you’re listening to in your government
those are I don’t know but these these things are
good to talk about to just process and say oh we got to do something about
this so I do think we have a minute but I am excited to have a butler I am
excited to have a chauffeur and um I’m still excited to interact with
humans yes see I’m the same that’s what I mean I feel like I want like a hybrid like half my life still human half my
life still robot like come to my home and we’ll have wine and drinks served by our robot you know what I mean like
that’s that’s where I’m at and um if it can benefit my business why not
um I can hold off on the hard conversation for a minute like you said um but I am excited about any potential
benefits and positives that it can bring my company and I encourage anybody who has a business that could potentially
benefit from robots to maybe think about it check out the Tesla AI Day video it was super cool I was amazed
um I’m definitely getting one for my personal life let’s just say that I’m getting one too and I think also
interestingly enough the AI could benefit your business by not adopting it I’ll just leave on that note because
with the Advent of the internet that I’ve been really lucky to be a part of since the early early days of
commercialization is I’ve benefited from the internet
I’m just using this as an example which will sound like a huge self-promotion but don’t worry we don’t have like 5
million subscribers so it doesn’t really matter is I write a print newsletter
which is against all of my beliefs and and embracement of
Technology the internet the internet made me my my first company that I sold made me all that money so isn’t it
ironic that the opportunity came from not
embracing the internet the truth of the matter is there’s five million newsletters that you could subscribe to
for free of which I write one uh the email where we talk about we tell people
about our new episodes our own business and we we do those and there’s there’s newsletters that you can pay for
but I also write one that’s in print that people pay for and value more than
they do on the internet so I only offer that as what appears to be shameful
self-promotion but like I said not getting rich off of it so I think I get it get it pass there but it is a good
example of your ability to carve out a niche by going against the grain and I
only wanted to offer that to listeners because I didn’t want them Danielle walking away with you and I or these
capitalistic pigs that um want to replace humans and just make a buck
because there’s an opportunity for a restaurant never to use the robot and to
stand out because some portion segment of the population enjoys
Joe or Mary coming to the table and saying a compliment that you know wasn’t
programmed I mean when I’m 80 years old Brendan and you know my whole life has
been full of these robots I will probably be one of those people that go and say back in my day I used to be
served by people I mean you’re right you’re 100 right um there’s so many benefits or not so I
think this conversation is fun I think it’s a cool thing to get excited for but there are real conversations we need to
have about it for sure well cool well enjoy the rest of your week without the robot and
um have a good one you too thanks everyone bye everyone