Replaced by robots


  • TECH
  • Sunday, 14 May 2017

Pepper has the ability to interact with people and even detect their emotions. — Bloomberg

Ten jobs already taken over by AI.

IF you think that the day when artificial intelligence (AI) takes over your job is still many years ahead, think again. Here are examples of how AI has already replaced humans in workplaces around the world, and your job could be next. No, seriously...

Tour guides

Japan’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation is home to Kodomoroid and Otonaroid, a human-like child and adult android duo. They are part of the museum’s permanent exhibition of ­cutting-edge robotics, and have the ability to directly communicate with visitors.

The Kodomoroid android acts as a tour guide for visitors to Japan’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. — AFP
The Kodomoroid android acts as a tour guide for visitors to Japan’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. — AFP

The androids act as tour guides for the ­museum, explaining exhibits and ­answering science-related ­questions.

Bartenders

The next time you’re at the Robots Bar and Lounge in Ilmenau, Germany, order a drink from Carl, the robot bartender.

According to The Telegraph, Carl is the ­creation of mechatronics engineer Ben Schaefer, who spent 23 years working in the field. Carl has the ability to mix ­cocktails, serve drinks and even engage customers in small talk. Don’t expect him to fix your ­marital woes though.

Librarians

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) in Singapore uses a robotic librarian which has the ability to scan shelves and identify missing or ­misplaced books. Soon, it will have the ability to “shush” noisy patrons.

Security personnel

Stanford Shopping Centre in California, United States, employs 140kg robotic ­security guards to patrol its vicinity. An article in Time states that the K5, ­developed by Knightscope, doesn’t carry any weapon and comes with thermal ­imaging, license plate reading and facial recognition sensors.

Factory workers

A group of Roomba vacuum cleaner-like robots are running the show at Shentong Express package sorting centre in Hangzhou, China.

According to International Business Times, the robots scan the packages and identify their destination before dropping them off in the right “mail bags”. The robots have sensors that prevent them from ­bumping into each other.

Retail assistants

BBC News reports that there is a life-like robot to greet you at Mitsukoshi, an upscale departmental store in Tokyo, Japan. Developed by Toshiba, the Japanese-speaking Aiko Chihira sings, smiles and offers six ­minutes worth of information about the store, including sales and events. She doesn’t follow you around like a pesky sales ­assistant, so that’s a win, yes?

Robot Chihira was developed by Toshiba. She works as a receptionist at the Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo. — AFP 

Teachers

Students at London Design and Engineering University Technical College get to work on application and computing programming projects with Pepper, a 1.2m tall robot. Equipped with four micro-phones, two HD cameras and 3D depth sensors, Pepper has the ability to interact with students and even detect their ­emotions.

Hospitality staff

Henn-na Hotel was opened in 2015 and it ­literally means “strange hotel” in Japanese. The hotel in Nagasaki, Japan, has 144 rooms and is run by almost 200 robots that are tasked as multilingual receptionists and ­porters.

Robotic dinosaurs manning the reception desk of the Henn na Hotel Maihama Tokyo Bay. The hotel in Nagasaki is run by almost 200 robots. — Bloomberg
Robotic dinosaurs manning the reception desk of the Henn-na Hotel Maihama Tokyo Bay. The hotel in Nagasaki is run by almost 200 robots. — Bloomberg

In an interview with The Guardian, its owner Hideo Sawada claimed that he is looking to reduce manpower by replacing 90% of his staff with robots.

Journalists

So this might be the last article you read from us, okay, maybe not that soon but US tech company Narrative Science has ­created a software called Quill that would make ­journalism obsolete. Quill transforms raw data into reports and articles, and even ­produces corporate earning reports for Forbes, and financial and sports reports for Associated Press.

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