CES 2024 introduced Robot baristas, causing commotion for casino union workers in fear of job concerns due to AI.
At the annual CES technology trade show in Las Vegas, robots were present throughout the whole week. Among these machineries were barista robots that captivated attendees. This spectacle left Roman Alejo, a 34-year-old barista, anxious about the possibility of a robot taking over his job. He began to think if his clock was ticking in the presence of AI. This is part of the job concerns journey that the hospitality industry has been going through.
“It is very scary because tomorrow is never promised,” Alejo said, “a lot of AI is coming into this world. It is very scary and very eye-opening to see how humans can think of replacing other humans.”
The largest tech shows in the world highlighted the fears of the hospitality industry, along with any other industry vulnerable to losses due to AI. Ted Pappageorge, the Culinary Workers Union’s secretary-treasurer stated that “technology was a strike issue and one of the very last issues to be resolved.” Hospitality workers expressed their willing ness to go on strikes in order to get protection and security in their jobs.
One tends to empathize with the hospitality industry. This is due to the fact that robots and AI have a chance of taking over the sector. Due to some negative experiences that can happen to a customer in a coffee shop, baristas do make up for that especially when the experience is a negative one. Robots in this case lack the three factors which are experience, human interaction skills, and the right usage of words. How would this create a chance for robots to take over the hospitality sector when the sector is based on the three factors.
Human interaction with customers should not be overlooked. Often, the quality of coffee might be perceived as bland, but the presence of a barista can enhance the overall customer experience, potentially leading to repeat visits to the coffee shop.
Recently, the introduction of a robot chef sparked widespread reactions, notably among grandmothers. This raises the question: what technological advancement might be next?
Regarding robot baristas, a critical viewpoint is that their inability to taste might impact the quality of the coffee produced, suggesting a preference for human-made coffee.
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