The “Robot Revolution” is already underway, but it’s meeting some forms of resistance, including resistance from photographic community. Fans of America’s most-visited theme park and photographers alike have recently united to save a small group of talented professionals from being replaced by machinery.
Recent news stories have covered the emergence of animatronic photography, with most machines still in a “beta” testing phase. And now photographers and fans of the Florida theme park are up in arms about the Disney Corporation reportedly gearing up to replace the park’s “Photopass Photographers” with photo booths.
A Change.org petition has been started to “Keep the Disney Photopass Photographers”, amassing well over 91,311 signatures by the time this article was posted.
The general consensus reflected in the petition’s comments section is that a robot cannot capture the real personality and “magic” of a moment as a human can.
Silicon is long on hardware but short on heart.
Disney parks have always thrived off the happy human premium of magic, from the dazzling spectacle of the Spaceship Earth sphere at Epcot to the musical performances and parades that seem to spontaneously materialize when you least expect it. Can replacing the crucial human eye of the photographer work in a magic kingdom?
Countless manual laborers lost their jobs to machinery during the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century. Robotic replacement is accelerating in our century. Supermarkets have expanded their checkout lines to computerized “self serve” kiosks. More and more fast food restaurants are replacing human order takers with robotic ones.
Do you view Disney’s move to replace photographers with computer chips as a simple cost-saving measure or a sign of lower standards and an enlarged market for mediocre photography? Please share your ideas with us in the comment section.