A robot shop assistant in Scotland was fired after just one week due to customers avoiding him, according to a report.
Robot shop assistant ShopBot, also known as “Fabio,” was created by Heriot-Watt University and soon became employees at a store, where he “got off to a good start, charming customers with high fives, hugs and greetings of ‘hello gorgeous,’” according to the Daily Mail.
However, “Within a few days Fabio began irritating and confusing shoppers at the flagship store,” with the robot giving customers vague and unhelpful answers, and finding it difficult to understand people.
When the robot was tasked with handing out samples, it also “became too enthusiastic” and started to scare customers who “fled from him.”
“We thought a robot was a great addition to show the customers that we are always wanting to do something new and exciting,” claimed shop owner Elena Margiotta. “Unfortunately Fabio didn’t perform as well as we had hoped… People seemed to be actually avoiding him.”
Despite this, when the robot was let go, human colleagues were reportedly reduced to tears, as it had become a likable team member who “was able to deal with frequent and boring requests.”
The short employment of the robot was documented in the BBC’s Six Robots and Us.
This month, Jack in the Box CEO Leonard Comma claimed “it just makes sense” to replace human workers with robots in the food industry eventually as wages increase.
It was also reported that LG Electronics is planning to sell robots that will replace human workers in hotels, airports, and supermarkets, while in September, a report claimed that four million British private sector jobs could be replaced by robots within ten years.
In 2017, Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan also declared that a “big number” of his employees would be replaced by robots eventually, and Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov encouraged people to embrace the replacement of human jobs by robots and start focusing on jobs that machines can’t perform.