If you lie awake at night worrying about the ‘threat’ of Artificial Intelligence (AI) taking over the world, then take heart from a recent episode involving robot waiters in China. Three restaurants in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou have been forced to fire all of their robot staff after their utter incompetence began costing them money. Two of the restaurants have closed completely after discovering the clumsy waiters could not perform simple tasks like taking orders, pouring drinks and carrying soup, reports say. The slacking robot team also kept breaking down and after a string of complaints the third restaurant mentioned above decided to sack all but one and bring back human employees, the Workers’ Daily newspaper reports.
“The mobility of the catering staff was great, we initially recruited six for service, but after a year we only retained one,” explained a supervisor at the restaurant. Website Shanghaiist quoted one manager who said: “Their skills are somewhat limited. They couldn’t pour water for customers, nor could they take orders.” Zhang Yun, from the Guangdong University of Technology, told the website that robots can excel when given repetitive tasks but struggle when they have to interact with humans. Robot waiters may well eventually revolutionize the service industry but it appears that it may still be a few years away.
Source: The Telegraph