It’s necessary and timely to explore naturalness and physicality, and to map the boundary with creepiness, because we’ll clearly have more and more robots in coming years – and the approach right now is either self-driving plastic boxes, or biomimicry, whether that’s robot arms or dancing dogs and humans with backpacks.
But when the robots were put in place, things went wrong. The concierge struggled to answer guests’ questions. The dancers in the lobby broke down. The luggage-carriers could not climb stairs or go outside. A question-and-answer robot could not handle anything beyond basic inquiries—and responded to at least one guest’s snoring by waking him repeatedly to tell him it could not understand what he was saying. Rather than saving labour, the robots actually required the hotel to increase staffing in order to assist and repair the struggling robots. So the hotel recently decided to lay off more than half of its 243 robots.
Gavin pathross likes his Americano at a particular strength, with exactly 2.8 shots of espresso, an order that human baristas struggle to get right. But the baristas at Ratio, his new coffee shop in Shanghai, are anything but human. Customers specify, order and pay for their coffee via their smartphones. A robot arm then grinds the beans, pumps shots of espresso and carries out the rest of the work. The robot can supply water and coffee in any ratio desired—hence the shop’s name. Once it has prepared the beverage, it passes the finished product to a human waiter for serving.
“Savvides is charged with advancing Bossa Nova’s product recognition capabilities at scale and identifying out-of-stock and misplaced products. Bossa Nova’s robots rove stores scanning shelves and alerting managers to any issues with inventory, including misplaced or low-stock items. As I’ve written, the robots are also Big Data mining machines writ small, able to track product performance practically in real-time.”
Original source: Store scanning robots will get AI, object recognition boost with recent acquisition
“Part of me likes being a programmer—because we’re the last job. I can see a future—if we don’t manage to blow ourselves up first—in the robot paradise where people are either robot engineers or programmers, or I guess do marketing. Or maybe bake pies, or smell things? Those are essentially the hardest things for a computer to do. But computers do everything else.”
Original source: The Smart, the Stupid, and the Catastrophically Scary