Are robots going to steal our jobs? Debate starts in Las Vegas
Updated: 2020-01-13 16:18:15 KST
Are robots taking away our jobs?
The issue is real here in Las Vegas.
Recent data suggest 33 percent of the city's workers could lose their jobs due to automation the highest rate of any major U.S. city.
The most at risk are low-paid workers such as cashiers and servers.
"That's one in three are at risk right here on the Strip, home to the city's iconic casinos, hotels, bars and fast-food restaurants. Could we really see the thousands of workers here being replaced by robots?
This is Vegas, so we'll go to a bar and find out.
At the Tipsy Robot, two bartender bots are working fast, taking orders for a wide selection of cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as customized drinks.
Your drink is measured and poured with precision, in brisk, angled movements almost like a dance and that's when it's not dancing for the customers.
The bar is unsurprisingly one of the coolest in Vegas.
But where does that place the human bartender?
Presidential candidate Andrew Yang blamed the Tipsy Robot for the loss of human jobs.
But the bar's owner says the opposite is true.
"We're not here to try to take jobs or whatever. We're trying to offer a unique experience to our customers, and no better place than Las Vegas. We are proud to say we created 10 jobs."
"A lot of the times customers still want to come and they still want to have like that social human interaction. So, you know, just telling us about their day, asking like what are some good things to do in Vegas on the Strip"
But most servers in Las Vegas don't feel so reassured.
The city's Culinary Workers' Union has been campaigning to safeguard their livelihoods.
"We need to have a language in our contract where we can protect our job. We know technology isn't something we can stop, but they have to notify the union. And before they implement they had to be 180 days. Any job that's coming, whatever is going to be affected, they had to give the opportunity to the worker to have free training."
These concerns are not unique to culinary staff or to Las Vegas.
"Artificial intelligence very often targets a specific task specific type of job. So once it's available, it can replace many people in that particular profession. So we need to be aware that whole groups of people will be set free almost at the same time. Preparing cushioning that allows them to get the additional education in order to find new jobs will be absolutely crucial."
Automation is inevitably transforming industries, jobs and lives, but whether it's for better or for worse, it needs to be addressed globally.
Oh Soo-young, Arirang News, Las Vegas.