The Future of Customer Service: Human Intelligence (HI) or Artificial Intelligence (AI)

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I have been slow to accept that, from a service perspective, humans will ever be replaced by computers. I've suggested that customers will resist "robots" and I've based my thinking in part on the "uncanny valley" hypothesis which postulates that the more robots look like humans the less humans will feel comfortable with them. I am starting to rethink my assumptions and my conclusion. While humans may not be fully replaceable, I do believe artificial intelligence and robots will displace a lot of service providers. Café X is now open in Hong Kong and San Francisco.


A robotic barista is now serving -- really fast

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

The first robotic barista opened in San Francisco on Monday. SAN FRANCISCO -- Something futuristic is brewing in a shopping complex here. The first robotic barista in the U.S., named "Gordon," started serving up to 120 coffee drinks an hour today-- ironically, just several thousand fee away from a Starbucks in the same complex. "A lot of us spend a lot of time in line waiting for coffee," says Henry Hu, CEO of Cafe X Technologies, the local start-up that created the robot. "And we decided to do something about it."


I spent a day eating food cooked by robots in America's tech capital

The Guardian

Around the world, an industry has emerged around automating food service through robotics, raising questions about job security and mass unemployment while also prompting praise for streamlining and innovation. In the epicenter of Silicon Valley, where innovation is exalted beyond all else, this industry has played out in various forms, from cafes, burger shops and pizza delivery to odd vending machines. Man cannot survive on bread alone, the saying goes, but in the Bay Area, a woman could conceivably sustain herself on a varied menu of foodstuffs that had not passed the hand of man in preparation at all that day. And that woman is me. I began my day with a coffee at CafeX, where I met Francisco, the dancing and spinning robotic arm.


Will No-Checkout Stores Like Amazon Go Be Commonplace By 2025?

Forbes - Tech

Employees stand outside the new Amazon Go grocery store in Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. Inc. unveiled technology that will let shoppers grab groceries without having to scan and pay for them -- in one stroke eliminating the checkout line. Are no-checkout stores like Amazon Go going to become common-place by 2025? Why or why not? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. There is little doubt, many if not all of the concepts from the Amazon Go store will be adopted by A-level retailers over the next 5 years.


In these stores of the future, you grab stuff and leave

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Until this fall, Chintan Maniar managed nearly 200 employees at a Target store in San Jose, California. Now, after 20 years at the big-box retailer, he manages a much tinier storefront in San Francisco. It's staffed by many more cameras than people, and shoppers can walk in, grab a bag of Doritos or a pump-bottle of Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day hand soap, and just walk out. Standard Store, operated by a San Francisco-based startup called Standard Cognition, is open to the public and meant to showcase the company's autonomous checkout technology. When you enter, you use an app to check in.