Those new service sector jobs

The DAWN Café is an upcoming trial project that will test an inclusive working environment. The café will seemingly be staffed with robots that will wait on you by bringing you your coffee and asking if you need anything. But if you think this is another example of robots coming for our jobs, you would be mistaken. Embedded within the robots are real intelligence: they’re operated remotely by people with severe disabilities who often can’t leave their bed.

Here is the story, via Dustin Palmer.


I love this idea! Work is dignifying!

Cool idea, although I bet they'd prefer to have their avatar be a Na'vi on Pandora rather than a waiter in a cafe.

Many years ago, I worked in our state's old capitol, where the cafe in the basement was operated by people with disabilities (of all kinds). Sure, it required some patience by the customers, but that was very little sacrifice for such an enormous return. I was a loyal customer. I remember many years later, long after I had left the capital and the capitol had been replaced by a much larger modern building, there was an effort to replace the operators of the cafe because members were getting complaints from visiting constituents, who had no personal connection with the people working in the cafe. Dealing directly with people with disabilities can be uncomfortable. Keeping them out of sight solves that issue, but I would not have my fond memory if I had never made a personal connection with those wonderful and brave human beings in that cafe.

Thanks for sharing, soon, happy thanksgiving!

it's a great idea. Wonderful to see that some engineers are humble enough to recognise that even their most advanced software doesn't come anywhere near being able to replace human personality.

I've also never had an entirely machine-made coffee that was better than one prepared by an average human barista.

Usually, Tyler uses the title "Those new service sector jobs" as a snarky way of saying, "See... The Average is Over was right!" And Average is over may in fact be right. But this deserves better than snark... this is absolutely amazing.

I think this is a terrific idea!

But, if I understand you correctly, these are not "robots" by the normal definition. They are, sort of, "waldos" which is a remotely operated device. A "robot" is autonomous. It is programmed and then left to act on it's own. (Yeah, that is a very brief definition. I could write a few thousand words and probably still not define "robot" to everyone's satisfaction."

Henry Ford, who invented the Toyota Production System, hired a lot of handicapped and disabled people at Ford in the teens and 20's. He paid them the same $5/day wage he paid everyone else. Ford found productive jobs for these folks, not makework.

He discusses it at length in his 1923 autobiography "My Life and Work". The best book ever written on lean manufacturing. Ever.

John Henry

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