Here's an interesting article we found on robots future positions in the work force. As of right now they aren't exactly perfect for customer service but if we take Moore's Law into consideration we may see robots take over jobs in some areas of hospitality sooner than we think.
Would You Like Your Service Today Live or Programmed, Madam?
- By Steven Ferry
In the 1990’s, I interviewed several futurists who, amongst other predictions, anticipated the omnipresence of robots in the workforce. In 2001 (unrelated to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey), I spoke at a butler convention about a convergence of 'hominids' (humans) and robots: the robots becoming more human and the humans becoming more robotic—and warned that this did not augur (signal) well for humans who preferred superior service. Hospitality, basic definition is friendly, which comes from an Indo-European root word meaning love. Met any friendly robots recently, ones who expressed their heartfelt love? Or for that matter, from staff who lack passion for service?
Hospitality executives are busy handling guest needs and issues, budgets, increasing market share, etc., so may not be looking sufficiently circumspectly at this fast-encroaching, robotic trend. Hence this article examining whence robots came, how far they have advanced into the workplace, and their future in hospitality. As we hominids are part of the equation, we can control where the trend goes: a talking head on TV saying that robots will take over by 2040 only means they will if we all act like robots and do and say whatever we are “programmed” to do and say.
Therein lies the key—as in an early, futuristic silent movie that showed a food conveyor belt in a canteen grinding to a halt after a new worker failed to take his soup bowl off the belt—because he didn’t like soup—and the mechanical breakdowns cascading until the whole, interconnected, automated society ground to a halt. Freedom of choice, a vital component in life, goes against the whole ethos of robotics and automation, which are designed to control according to fixed programs input by others in some distant time and location and according to the dogmas of the time.