If you are worried about robots and AI replacing human workers, here comes a story that’s the other way around. In Japan’s famous robotic hotel, Henn-na “Strange” Hotel Tokyo, has laid off nearly 250 robots as they were creating more problems than solving them.
Situated in the business district Ginza, Tokyo, the hotel gained popularity for having robots do most of the work. Among the robots that were fired includes Churi. A doll-shaped voice assistant, Churi, was fired because it couldn’t answer a simple question like “What time does the theme park open.” While today’s Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant could answer these questions, Churi couldn’t. Churi was supposed to improve Strange Hotel’s staff shortage, but was certainly lacking.
There were also two dinosaurs at the check-in but required human assistance to take photocopies of the guest’s passports. Two other robots commissioned to carry luggage failed to reach all 100 rooms of the hotel and went haywire when it rained or snowed. These robots would also get stuck while passing each other. All of these have been shown the door.
It’s quite stunning to see Japan, being ahead in robotic technology fire robots. The hotel has decided to fire these machines rather than replace them because of high costs. It seems like a fully automated hotel may still take more time to be completely functional.