Excuse me, there is AI in my curry. Banglore Mirror has reported the launch of a restaurant where food will be served by robots, a first for the city of Bengaluru. The restaurant will have a team of six robots, consisting of one usher and five bearers. Each table will be equipped with a tablet, using which the diner will be able to place their order. The robots are apparently programmed to sing birthday songs and are interactive. Which means that if you want to know what vegan or gluten-free options are available for you, the robot may perhaps be able to tell you.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • A restaurant in Bengaluru will use robots to serve food.
  • From packaging to frying or regulating portion size, machines are a big part of the food industry.
  • So why can’t they be used to serve food?
  • However, the trend seems only to be catching up for its novelty factor.

Each table will be equipped with a tablet, using which the diner will be able to place their order. The robots are apparently programmed to sing birthday songs and are interactive.

The idea of having a restaurant operated by robots is fascinating, to say the least. Machines have revolutionised the food industry on a large and invasive scale. From packaging to cooking, there are equipment’s which have taken over various aspects of large scale culinary operations, replacing humans at various stages of the process. If a machine can be used to cut out perfectly identical donuts, package jams, or ensure that no defective potato chips make it to the customer, then why can’t machines serve us food? They might as well be cooking it for us soon, doing everything from buying staple, to cleaning and peeling fruits and vegetables, to preparing a dish to order.

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But with rising unemployment, one is indeed left asking, do we seriously need more jobs outsourced to robots? Will this trend catch up, and put thousands working as ushers and bearers across the restaurant business in the country out of jobs? Will this be yet another nail in the dying trend of human interactions, as nameless (or not) and soul-less machines drive us apart further? Also, what about customisation of food as per a customer’s individual needs. What if I don’t want any mushrooms on my pizza, but can do with extra baby corns and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil added to it, right after it comes out of the oven?

With rising unemployment, one is indeed left asking, do we seriously need more jobs outsourced to robots? Will this trend catch up, and put thousands working as ushers and bearers across the restaurant business in the country out of jobs?

I agree that outsourcing is a monstrous concern right now with most of ours or our loved one’s jobs at risk of being taken over by machines. But then what is the bigger reason for that? AI advancement or overpopulation? Besides, at this stage the cost of employing robots, to say serve food, is much greater than employing people. (I am not sure if that is something to be happy about.) At best, people may entertain this idea out of curiosity and some restaurateurs may adopt it for novelty’s sake. But it will be a very long time before robots will fully take over service at restaurants, to feed the large customer base in our country, that too at rates which are affordable to both restaurateurs and customers.

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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are author’s own.

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