When James Cameron brought The Terminator to cinemas in 1984, humankind was left pondering the possibility of man vs machine. In James Cameron’s scenario, the result is a terrifying apocalypse where humans succumb to the mechanical regime. However, according to The Byte, in the cast of Chipotle, robots will be making our tortilla chips.
That’s right, following in the steps of Buffalo Wild Wings and Walmart, Chipotle has recruited a mechanical employee to take the weight off the hard-working humans. The new recruit is called Chippy and has been given the all-important task of making the Mexican food chain’s tortilla chips. Chippy will be helping with staff shortages and combating inflation, as described in the video below.
As stated in the video, Chippy’s first shift at Chiptole will take place in its test center in Irving, California. Chippy is a product of Miso Robotics, whose other business partners include the aforementioned Buffalo Wild Wings and the Dodgers baseball franchise. In a press release from Chipotle, they gave their own reasonings behind their new hire: “We are always exploring opportunities to enhance our employee and guest experience. Our goal is to drive efficiencies through collaborative robotics that will enable Chipotle’s crew members to focus on other tasks in the restaurant.”
While the press release states Chippy’s inclusion is to enhance the workplace and provide vital assistance to the human employees at Chipotle, time will tell if Chippy doesn’t eventually supplant them, at least in the task of making tortilla chips. Robotic automation in the workplace is nothing new and is only a growing trend. Disney is reportedly gearing up to include ‘sentient’ style robots as part of their theme park attractions. Dominoes are in on the act as well, as they started rolling out self-driving delivery robots. As well as this, Sarcos Robotics is working with the Navy, providing exoskeletons to enhance and aid the performance of human recruits.
The clear goal behind the likes of Chipotle and other companies decision-making to use robotics is to cut costs. The sad reality of this is that it will likely come to the detriment of human employees gaining vital employment. The world is an ever-evolving financial quagmire, with businesses fighting to cut operating costs, and employees fighting to gain valued work. Chippy is just an innocent bystander in all of this. Whereas the likes of The Terminator and I Robot show violent revolution from our robotic cohabitors, Chippy indeed represents a much more real threat.
Sanctuary Cognitive Systems Corporation in Canada are much in the opinion that the future is headed toward an automated workforce and even boast that they have a human-like AI that is capable of performing a variety of workforce functions in an equally varied range of industries. This spells a further death knell for the future of human employment, but it does reflect the trend that Chipotle and the other aforementioned businesses are adopting. The workplace is rapidly changing, across all forms of industry. Another sector of employment that is experiencing a radical shift is office-based roles. Thanks to the pandemic, the office became the home office and now the hybrid office. Now augmented and virtual reality is supposedly making its way to the office space as well. The world of business and employment is ever-changing and there is a debate to be had as to whether the likes of Chipotle are acting in the best interests of employees or just their own business.