Mass Robot Firings in China Because of Incompetence - Atlas Obscura
Our new kids' book is on sale! Shop now.

Mass Robot Firings in China Because of Incompetence

“The robots weren’t able to carry soup,” one of their former colleagues said.

After piloting early AI server programs, three Guangzhou restaurants have engaged in mass robot firings, Shanghaiist reports.

Two of the formerly robot-employing restaurants have closed down entirely, and the remaining one has fired all but one of their nonhuman staff members.

“The boss has decided never to use them again,” a human waiter said of his former colleagues.

Said boss and his compatriots originally hired the droids to save money—after an up-front investment, robot workers are much less expensive than humans, because you don’t actually have to pay them. (The owners had also anticipated the weird factor, which drew tons of customers.)

But even the hippest, cheapest worker isn’t worth it if it can’t do the job. “The robots weren’t able to carry soup or other food steady,” one of their ex-coworkers remarked. Another added, “They can’t take orders or pour hot water for customers.”

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to cara@atlasobscura.com.