I ate at a robot restaurant in MSP Int’l Airport. Each seat has one of these tablets (not sure the brand). And each seat has two electric outlets including two for a USB. You can see the USB ports on the outlet on the left. The wood is fake, so are the leather seats. TV screens hung from nearly every wall surface. I’m not sure if you can see it, but can you see the steam behind the counter? I can’t be 100% sure, but I’d swear it was artificial, like that fake smoke at clubs. Even the battery operated candle had a fake flicker.
To order food and drinks, you swipe and poke at the tablet, which, btw, also has full internet access. After you order, you pay by swiping your credit card on a swiper nearby (out of frame).
About five minutes later a server delivers your order, which looks nearly identical(!) to the meal in the photos. Eerie. If you need something, there is red “Assistance” button on the bottom right of the tablet (you can see it on the tablet above). Push that, and someone comes over and asks “How may I assist you?”
All the diners had forks in one hand while swiping news or email on the tablet with the other. The place was spookily silent. Everyone’s heads were down, focused on the screens, and shoveling food in their mouths, as if sedated.
We live in the future.
Words cannot express how much this post pisses me off.
Oh no, are frazzled, stressed, dog-tired, hungry people not being forced to interact with minimum-wage waitstaff? The horror. The fucking horror. What a loss for everyone. What a joyous experience you have stolen from both parties.
How dare you let people eat meals in privacy and silence when they want to? How dare they be able to acquire food without spending their limited energy on social interactions? People definitely shouldn’t be allowed a few minutes of solace after a busy day in an airport or airplane, overwhelmed by being near hundreds of people.
And giving people USB ports? And access to the internet? How goddamn terrible that you would allow travelers to recharge their phones or check their email. Because you know what the people on the other end of the phones and email are? FAKE. They are impostor robot alien clone people who don’t count, because the most important factor for determining whether you want to talk to someone should be whether they are physically within a few feet of you.
Also, technology is inherently evil and morally bankrupt. Wood is inherently better than something that looks a lot like wood and fulfills the same function, except either better or cheaper. Instead of credit cards, financial transactions should be conducted by handing over cash, or bartering. Instead of TV shows or websites that people can change to fit their preferences, entertainment is best conducted via live stage shows, or puppet shows if you must sully the joyous art of human interaction. Text should be read from ink-stained surfaces, or maybe clay tablets. Even a battery-powered candle spells the doom of society.
Only joyless dystopian sheeple could possibly enjoy light entertainment and talking to people they know instead of staring around a cafe and waiting for the patrons or waitstaff to entertain them. Just think, you could be having a manic pixie dream girl experience with a complete stranger, right now!
Seriously though, don’t act like every frontier of technology means the end of the world. Sometimes, Life As We Know It is simply Life As Good As We Could Manage It So Far, and is open to improvements. Don’t act like the world is going to hell because Kids These Days have developed a sudden unholy fascination with their tiny screens. Be honest. People are people. If that shit existed back in the Good Old Days, people would have used it too. Some people back in the day would have vastly preferred e-readers over books, or smartphones over crossword puzzles, and some people these days still have their books and crosswords and knitting.
And please get over your fear of plastic.
Until I got to “shoveling food” I didn’t realize this person was complaining. Take out that para and it sounds almost excited about this (which is right, because this is awesome). Only trouble is I’ll bet the automation lulls people into not tipping, or tipping badly.
Anent which, the crack about “minimum-wage waitstaff” comes off as kinda classist.