A viral TikTok video purporting to show a robot waiter at a Denny’s restaurant has sparked widespread debate on the future of human labor and job security.
In the footage, uploaded earlier this week by user @miabellaceo, a robot named “Janet” can be seen delivering two plates of food to a waiting table.
“Here comes breakfast,” @miabellaceo can be heard saying. “We are hungry.”
Since being uploaded, the video has been viewed more than 475,000 times. Countless users also flooded the comment section to offer their opinion on the robot.
Many users appeared to be opposed to the robot waiter and argued that it was displacing much needed jobs.
“[T]his will sadly replace a ton of jobs over the next decade,” one user said.
“Have the AI finally taken over everything?” another commenter wrote.
Other people in the comments applauded the robot and alleged that demands for a higher minimum wage were to blame.
“That’s how you handle ppl wanting $15 an hour,” another user said.
Numerous users also suggested that robots were more reliable than humans.
“Never calls out, doesn’t talk back, always on time, no inter personal relationship drama, never complains… I’m sold,” one supportive user wrote.
Yet, as noted by @miabellaceo in a comment on the video, the robots have not fully replaced waiters. At least not yet.
“The waitress did come and take the order and deliver coffee,” @miabellaceo explained, “the robot just brought the food.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Denny’s to inquire about the robot allegedly used in its restaurant but did not receive a reply by press time. Other videos on TikTok also claim to show similar looking robots at Denny’s.
With labor shortages ongoing due to the coronavirus pandemic and wage stagnation, more and more food establishments appear to be acquiring robots. Meanwhile, other businesses have opted to simply increases wages in order to bring in workers.
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*First Published: Nov 25, 2021, 11:36 am CST
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.