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Service with a human face, or why people need people

Almost all the service industry falls on the shoulders of AI today. In beauty salons, robot stylists can give you a haircut just like a famous influencer, or make-up from the latest season of a popular TV series, in a matter of minutes. Schools, colleges and institutes have robot teachers, and you won’t be able to be a teacher’s pet or their “pet hate”. They’ll accurately record your grades and have boundless patience. In pharmacies, robotic pharmacists make diagnoses right on the spot. After analyzing symptoms using dozens of sensors and taking analyses, they can select a course of treatment, or if required, send you to see a robot doctor.

The future has arrived. The “human factor” is no longer a problem, because robots don’t make mistakes, don’t get sick, and don’t get tired. Human service workers are a rarity now. But, as is often the case with rarities, “human” service has become a luxury, that only the most well-off clients can afford. That is why being a human nanny, a human waiter, or even a human courier, is now prestigious and lucrative.

“Human” service now meets standards that in the past only seemed real for machines. There is no place for long waits, incompetence or conflicts here. High demands on candidates and continuous competition, and many years of training in psychology, communication theory and practice leave the industry with truly outstanding professionals. And these people can offer what a robot competitor cannot — emotional contact, sincere care, and humor. That is why clients are served by human waiters at most luxurious restaurants, for example.

At the same time, in their constant interaction with robots, people start to feel more and more trapped in the narrative of predictable user scenarios. And this life, optimized and tamed, has begun to resemble virtual reality. In this sense, “human” service becomes an outlet for those who can afford it, and simultaneously, a solution to the complex demands of the time.
 

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