AI-Robots Coming to Your Local Restaurant, Is it Time to Panic?csudhbulletin November 8, 2022 0 COMMENTS
By Yennifer Ho, Staff Reporter
Robots are showing up in many occupations, including the restaurant industry. They are accomplishing human tasks including taking orders, making deliveries, and even cooking up food.
Some people have always feared that robots will take over the world. If that happens, what will this mean for the future?
As of now, many Korean barbeque restaurants have utilized technology such as Artificial Intelligence-powered robot workers that take orders and deliver food to people’s tables. AI can be defined as, “the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence.”
Major companies like Chipotle, Panera Bread, and Jack in the Box, have joined in on the robotic phenomenon and are experimenting with food-service robots.
Chipotle, one of the most popular Mexican-inspired fast food chains, is experimenting with an AI-driven robot named, “Chippy.” Chippy’s main responsibility is to make Chipotle’s signature tortilla chips.
Back in March, Nevielle Panthaky, vice president of culinary at Chipotle, stressed in a press release that not all chips will taste alike and that Chippy is trained to deliver subtle variations to, “ensure we didn’t lose the humanity behind our culinary experience.”
Juan C. Leon, California State University, Dominguez Hills, computer science education coordinator, emphasized that robots will coexist with humans, not “replace” them. He also mentioned that students majoring in computer science and other related fields like data science will have many choices for their careers because of this.
“The industry forecast, in terms of how many jobs are available and the need for programmers and software developers, all [foresee] that there will be new jobs,” he said.
Leon feels that humans are entitled to have concerns, but technology isn’t completely taking over anytime soon.
“AI is nowhere close to approximating human intelligence, not even close,” he declared, adding that humans don’t even understand how their brains work, let alone having a computer mimic them.
CSUDH freshman Jesse Camacho, is a computer science major and had a similar stance.
“Robots being people’s cooks, waiters, [or] servers isn’t that big of a deal because of how rare it is and even if they take jobs, new jobs will come from it,” he said. “Technology has always been used to make human lives more convenient.”
However, convenience might result in people being too reliant on technology doing the work for them.
“If you ask a young person about a local place they will almost always immediately look it up on their phone whereas people around [30 years old or above] can tell you almost immediately,” Camacho said.
Whether citizens like it or not, robots and AI technology will continue to expand in the restaurant industry and beyond.
Despite not having emotions, AI-powered robots can be instructed to give satisfactory customer service in more ways than one. As restaurants struggle to make up for staff shortages, robots may just be the solution that business owners are looking for.