Kitchen staff face mass unemployment

Robots set to replace Kitchen Porters – also known as dishwashers.

Five hundred thousand people work as dishwashers in the United States according data from the Department of Labor. Dishcraft, a private company, has invented an AI system to automate dishwashing.

CEO and founder Linda Pouliot said that to figure out what tech could really do to help, she and CTO Paul Birkmeyer went to restaurants of every kind, volunteering to wash their dishes. Restaurateurs and managers were more than welcoming.

The invention has been received enthusiastically by mangers and business owners due to control it gives to owners: “Robots do not call off, robots don’t take breaks, and robots do not take vacation,” Pouliot said.

AI experts have raised concern about future mass automation and the mass unemployment it has the potential to cause. It is also likely to reduce the power of labour movements to effectively represent workers achieve better working conditions.

Chain stores like Asda and Tesco have already implemented self checkout systems that have significantly reduced employment prospects for local communities.

With invention similar to those by Dishcraft, automation is set to extend from chain stores to smaller businesses.

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