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Machines are replacing humans at work, but can it be an opportunity?


Welcome to the era when machines begin replacing humans at work. Machines are now able to perform many complicated tasks that could only be performed by real human beings in the past.

Service jobs that can be performed by machines

Machines or robots are capable of performing many service jobs in restaurants and hotels already, from reservations, actual productions, service delivery, to collecting payment. For example, restaurants can accomplish the following tasks with machines:

Likewise, travelers can now make reservations for their hotel stays online, perform self-check-in on a mobile app or in a kiosk at a hotel, enter the hotel room with their mobile app, place orders for service deliveries, and check out on a mobile app or the TV in the guest room. All of these tasks can be performed without any real human interactions.

A more recent update is about Google’s AI (artificial intelligence) who can work as a personal assistant, helping people set up appointments through the telephone. The “scariest” or the “smartest” part of this news, depending on how we perceive this innovation, is that Google’s AI sounds and “thinks” like a real person when it interacts with an actual human being at the other end of the line.

Service jobs that can only be performed by humans (for now)

I have difficulty to come up with a list. I am afraid it does not need to take long before humans can only perform the “leftover” jobs by machines, either managing the machines if we are good enough or cleaning up the workplace for the machines so that they can do their jobs without interruptions.

Using the restaurant example that was just illustrated above with automatic services, workers may still be needed where they check and clean up the place to ensure that everything is clean and in good orders. In the hotel example, housekeepers may still be needed to straighten up the rooms. Additionally, it may seem important to have someone monitoring the machines to ensure smooth service delivery.

Why machines are favored over real human beings?

Delivering high quality of service in a consistent manner is the key to success in the service industry. Once programmed, machines can produce consistent outputs. Moreover, machines do not need a vacation or a sick leave, making it easier for scheduling or planning in productions. To a large extent, machines have become more reliable than human beings.

Moreover, while the labor cost is on the rise, machines or robots are getting cheaper than ever. In some cases, it could cost less to “hire” a machine than a worker. As machines or robots are becoming more reliable in performance and cheaper in price, I believe more businesses would choose to use machines rather than real human beings in the workplace.

The opportunities for entrepreneurs

So, is there no way we can avoid being replaced by machines? I believe opportunities are still everywhere. We just need to embrace the changes and take an innovative approach to tackle the challenges. Here are some examples:

In a different way of thinking, I do not think machines are taking people’s jobs. I would rather say machines are helping people perform better and more reliable jobs at work. The question is whether we are willing to change ourselves and adapt ourselves to a brand new work environment where more tasks are performed by machines.

What other examples do you see where entrepreneurs identify new business opportunities as they embrace the technological trends? Do you see the advance of technology more of a threat that takes away people’s jobs or more of an opportunity that help people find better business solutions at work? For what reasons?

Note: The picture was downloaded from WBur.org; This post is also published on MultiBriefs.com.  

Comments

  1. Eddie Long HRT3020

    After reading this article, I have noticed several restaurant that utilize food service robots to help run the restaurant more efficiently. For example, a restaurant in Beijing call Haidilao Hotpot is equipped with automated robotic arms and servers that help to cater to China's demanding hotpot warriors. As I read the post, it mentioned that if the machines can perform better than humans can then the labor cost will immediately decrease. In the South China Morning Post, Haidilao will bring down the staff size to about 130 to 140 per restaurant from the current 170 level. However even after doing this, they will not be understaffed. I agree with this post that machines will not be taking all of people's jobs in the service sector but to enhance the performance and service through the help of technological trends like these. Also, machines cannot make the food taste better, so in order for the people to keep on coming to the restaurant, the quality in their food need to be up to the standard that the customers want. I believe that the machines are beneficial for companies to have to increase profit by lowering service labor costs, while providing faster service and enhanced performance.

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