The Robots Are Coming! The Robots Are Coming!! (And We Trained Them)

Real Estate Broker/Owner with ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors

 The Robots Are Coming!


(Bernie here) A recent shopping experience brought to mind “Singularity” and my ongoing discussions with Ron Segiel and others about the threat of advanced technology. The premise of Singularity is that technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will become so advanced that technology will turn on humans, rendering us obsolete. (My thoughts on that later…)


Last weekend I was experimenting with a new system called “Scan, Bag, Go.” Using a special device, or phone app, shoppers scan and bag their groceries as they go about the store. Several large chains (including Amazon) are testing prototypes to streamline their brick and mortar operations, eliminating a pet peeve - lines at the checkout stands. The advantage of this system is, just like online shopping, you check out and pay when you are ready. No standing in line. (The irony of using a virtual shopping cart to check out a real one did not escape me!)  


What does this have to do with Singularity? As I moved about the store, it dawned on me - I was probably training some AI system with my shopping patterns. GPS-enabled devices can teach AI how to analyze shoppers’ movements, configure store layouts, replicate the shopping experience, then eventually replace human shoppers with - GASP! - ROBOTS!  A ready-made service for those who don’t like shopping.


At first, it was troubling to think my actions could be helping this march towards “Singularization” just for faster checkouts. But I also recognize (and herein are my general thoughts about the subject) all these high-tech gadgets and online systems are designed to do one thing - deliver products. Our entire global economy is a consumer-driven economy. Most of these products are uniquely human. E.g., food - robots don’t eat!  In fact, the driving force behind many advanced technologies is streamlining delivery systems, not replacing the ultimate consumer. 


This also applies to the housing market. Systems and technologies will continue to evolve to improve the delivery of these products and services. Humans will always need places to live and sleep (and eat) - but not robots. A home is a uniquely human product, and it requires specialized knowledge, experience, and empathy to understand what consumers want. The form, shape, financing, and ownership of our residences may change over time, but for the foreseeable future, humans will need homes, and other humans to facilitate the process.


Our job as professionals is to understand the changes in the needs and wants of our population, and provide personalized (human) service. While systems for delivery may change over time, the ultimate consumer will still be human. The personal touch that guides that human through the process cannot be replicated or replaced by even the smartest robot.




Posted by


ViewHomes™ grew out of our passion for nature, beautiful surroundings, and peaceful environments. Starting together in an urban environment, over the years we've gravitated towards areas with smaller populations and less density. We now enjoy our lifestyle in a rural environment, but with close proximity to metropolitan areas where we appreciate all the amenities of fine restaurants, shopping, and an easy drive to an international airport.
Living in ViewHomes™ is like having “elbowroom for the soul”.

314 NE Cedar Street
Camas, WA  98607





This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Real Estate Technology & Tools
The Art Of Marketing You
Almost Anything Goes
Clark County Real Estate Professionals
Pacific Northwest Real Estate
views of clark county

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I tend to see many agents imitating robots quite well....

Apr 21, 2018 06:00 AM #26
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Bernie. Your insights are accurate even if a little scary. Great job.

Apr 21, 2018 06:15 AM #27
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I don't look forward to a robotic world, even though I enjoy the conveniences that technology brings us.  I am a small town boy that cherishes personal relationships with other humans.

Apr 21, 2018 06:28 AM #28
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Hi Bernie and Debb - very interesting and more than a little frightening. All at the same time. Adapt? Hmm.

Apr 21, 2018 08:14 AM #29
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Bernie and Debb- I have to admit that as much as I love technology, AI frightens me. Man usually is a step (actually many steps) behind what we develop. Just because you can doesn't always mean you should. I saw an app for the iPhone (ShoppingBlitz) that you can download and take with you while you go grocery shopping. It will then learn how you shop, where you shop, then reorder the items based on where they would be in the store you go to. 

Apr 21, 2018 08:48 AM #30
Crystal Kilpatrick
Team Leader -Crystal Kilpatrick Group - Austin, TX
CHLMS,CNE, CRS - Austin & Central Texas Home Sales

Good morning Bernie!  What an interesting blog topic.  I certainly hope that it doesn't happen to us.

Apr 21, 2018 09:35 AM #31
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,
RE/MAX Professionals. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

I feel your pain Bernie and this tied in nicely with future real estate. I visited the Amazon store in Seattle and it does feel like you are being observed by a higher power for all your data and quirks...

Apr 21, 2018 01:55 PM #32
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Buying and selling is emotional Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD  I do not think it can be done unemotionally -- so glad this was featured by Carol Williams 

Apr 21, 2018 03:20 PM #33
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Hi Bernie! I agree with Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi - although I highly doubt that in our lifetime we will be replaced by robots, I do see more and more in a particular generation that prefer 'mechanical touch' over the human touch. It's sad but, true.

As for all of the hooplah that is going on all around us with regards to AI - you know, I feel like in our line of work, we are out there for the world to see.

We should be transparent and I honestly don't have an issue with FB sharing my 'likes' for particular items or my vacation photos! What I do have an issue with is irresponsible corporations who lose our very personal data to hackers - now THAT is something to be upset about, isn't it?!

Wonderful, thought-provoking post. Thank you for sharing, Bernie!

Apr 21, 2018 05:27 PM #34
Paul McFadden
Paratex - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

I agree with you. The human touch will never go away. But it will change and adapt. That is key. Thanks!

Apr 21, 2018 05:49 PM #35
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Very interesting! I agree with your conclusion.
The whole AI takes over the world thing is getting more believable every day, however. I liked it better as a Sci fi movie. Lol

Apr 22, 2018 03:46 AM #36
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

While I think there are more efficiencies available that AI can offer, I think most aspects of our skills sets are still too complex to be replaced.  Yet.    Yesterday of the three homes I showed, one had incorrect GPS directions and the other wasn't even ON the GPS.    

Apr 22, 2018 08:36 AM #37
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Perry Wellington Realty, Adam Conrad, Broker - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Don't see this happening in my small area for a very very LONG time. But, one never knows. I do agree with your conclusion here...

"The personal touch that guides that human through the process cannot be replicated or replaced by even the smartest robot."

Apr 22, 2018 10:27 AM #38
Chris Stedman
Chris Stedman EXP Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Real Estate Selling Specialist in Phoenix

Coming from a technology background prior to real estate, I can asssure you the technology exists or will exist, to remove humans from virtually all jobs. I know we like to tell ourselves we are more special because of this or that, as to why we are better than AI or a robot and why we would never lose our job. In terms of a personal relationship, yes that needs work with AI; however, thats also to assume future generations will want that personal touch. In my opinion, as we move into the future people will want less personal relationships or human interaction when purchasing goods or services. I think the bigger question isnt whether AI can replace you, I think the bigger question is how much of this will be released into the world and when? If AI or a robot can replace the majority of jobs/professions, then what will people do for money in order to live? To me, AI can have a catastrophic effect on the way people live and buy products. Yes we understand the concept others have said that by creating AI, you also create new jobs (caring for the system or robot), but you will not create anywhere close to the amount of jobs lost. Even Elon Musk is concerned with the accelerated rate AI adapts and learns, far faster than any human ever could. Just because we think the technology doesnt exist to affect us, doesnt mean it isnt already developed and just not implemented into the world yet. 

Apr 22, 2018 10:30 AM #39
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Robots and Artificial Intelligence are going to take over in a way barely imagined.  And, I believe it will be much swifter than originally thought.  We are existing at the threshhold of a fascinating realm.

Apr 22, 2018 01:51 PM #40
Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD - I am absolutely flabbergasted! 

Yes! It is frightening to think we are all being monitored under secret surveillance by Artificial Intelligence. Can you imagine popping into some research center and seeing thousands of screens with unbeknown people, shoppers, patients, teachers, drivers, etc., being watched as if we were under the microscope while somebody is making copious notes and/or designing computer graphics of our behavior; then sending out a prototype of some sort of robot who mirrors human behavior? It's all too freaky for me!

So, what happens to the robots that become junk? Are they recycled or put into some new type of landfill? The thought sends chills down my spine. 

Can you imagine future demographics? Rather than put down ethnicity, someone checks off Robot!

Apr 22, 2018 04:06 PM #41
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

We always need the human touch on thinks (I hope).  You sure come up with some interesting topics.  Thanks

Apr 25, 2018 08:59 AM #42
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

I believe will have a place in the present and in the future. I have a robotic vacuum and it doesn't do nearly as good a job as i do. Now the robot (we call him Bob) would be equal to my husband vacuuming.

Apr 25, 2018 05:58 PM #43
James Grant
Asheville, NC

Dear  Debb janes ecobroker and bernie stea jd

In my opinion, Changes is not bad as long as we know are Limitation. I hope that people only make robotic to help and improve our way of living. Making a world that was so modern has a great impact not only on us but also in our lives.

Apr 26, 2018 12:44 PM #44
Mari Velasquez
Olympus Executive Realty - Orlando, FL
Real Estate Agent serving central Florida!

I totally agree, even when you buy items online, sometimes they not the same when they arrive.  A personal touch is very inportant!

Apr 26, 2018 01:21 PM #45
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD

REALTORS® in Clark County, WA
We'd Love to Help You Find, or Sell, Your ViewHome.™
Spam prevention

Additional Information