A.I. could force humans to work less.  But in one weird way, it’s already HELPING us work less . . .

Using bots to snag open slots on your company’s VACATION CALENDAR is a new trend.  It’s become a problem at Amazon warehouses.

Amazon employees have two types of unpaid time off they can take.  One is normal unpaid vacation, and there’s a limit to how much you can take.  The other is “Voluntary Time Off” or VTO, where your boss decides they don’t need as many people working.

VTO doesn’t count against your vacation time, so there’s a lot of competition when those slots open up.  But they’re harder than ever to get.

Amazon sends out alerts right after new VTO becomes available.  But people say the slots are always gone now, even if you try to claim one right away.  And it’s because other employees are using bots to snap them up in less than a second.

Bots like this have been a problem elsewhere too.  There was just a huge thing last month about bots snagging all the tee times at golf courses in L.A.  Now those courses are charging $10 deposits to help prevent it.

It’s not clear what Amazon plans to do to address the problem.  They say employees know they’re not allowed to do it, and there are already safeguards in place to track when bots are being used.  (404 Media)