They’re Taking Our Jerbs
They’re Taking Our Jerbs
Corey WilsonWednesday,22 April 2015
Congratulations on getting that job at Walmart as a greeter; times are tough, and I know you’ve been looking for work for months now. Unfortunately, you may want to hop back on the job boards because the Japanese are up to their usual shenanigans again. Developer Toshiba (whose laptop I’m using right now—which is easily the dopest laptop on the planet. Wink wink Toshiba) has created Aiko Chihira, a humanoid automaton. Her prime directive: to greet the fuck out of shoppers at the Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo.
The worst news: she’s already way more fucking qualified than you are.
Ms. Chihira (because no partner robot has been developed yet. Wink wink Chihira) is not only capable of talking to customers, she capable of talking to pesky foreigners. But wait, there’s more. Not only is she capable of talking to foreigners, she’s able to use Japanese sign language. So toss your “eight-years of previous greeter experience” out the window ‘cause this bitch is on a different level. You can also toss away that political science degree.
What this means for shitty retail jobs is uncertain. I’m sure all of us have been ushered over to one of those self-checkout machines at a Loblaws; those things are dumb as hell, and as a guy who was literally putting fruit in fucking bags three hours ago, they don’t scare me because I’ve never heard anyone praise the self-checkout machines.
But the problem is that those machines don’t smile, and they’re not ingenious; they don’t inspire awe. If I didn’t live below the poverty line, I’d go to Tokyo just to see these badass machines at work. The future is here, motherfuckers, and I want to see it with my eyeballs. No, all the self-checkout machines do is lose stores billions of dollars annually, and force me to pack my own fucking fruit after spending eight hours packing someone else’s fucking fruit!
Ms. Chihira though, she was built with more purpose than that “please put your bags in the bagging area” son of a bitch. And unlike previous greeter robots, plans are in the works to increase her responsibility—so you can say sayonara to that promotion too.
“It would be good if we can have her provide guidance, or recommend various things in Chinese,” said Hitoshi Tokuda, Toshiba’s new business development division group manager, and holder of the Guinness Book of World Records’ “longest job title.” “People can be looking around and think, ‘Oh if Aiko is around, she can speak Chinese.”
So not only will she be providing snarkless customer service; not only will she be serving Chinese customers instead of avoiding them like we avoid French customers here in Canada—we won the war you Francophone bastards—she’ll be able to upsell better than any of you.
Right now, though, she isn’t capable of responding to customer complaints or questions—so you’ve got that in common with her—so your job is safe. Don’t get complacent though, your children will likely be starving soon.