NEWS - Businesses are now turning to computers, machines, and artificial intelligence to make lives easier than before, particularly for baristas. One café that invests in AI-driven technology is Artly, which uses a software-powered robot arm to make drinks and latte art.
A Concept Brewed Into Reality
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Artly is a café born from the mind of CEO Meng Wang. Before this robot-powered coffee shop, Wang had a startup company called Orbeus. In 2015, he sold that business to Amazon and spent the next seven years working with that tech giant.
While Wang was working with Amazon, he put together $8.3 million to help develop and maintain his band of robot baristas. Today, these AI-powered helping hands are in different Artly locations across the nation.
At the time of writing, interested customers can visit the Artly café in places like Portland, Seattle, and Modesto. Wang and his coffee-making establishment aim to ease the growing pains associated with ordering coffee from human baristas.
The CEO said the following in an interview with online publishing Geekwire, "Interaction with our robots is unique for consumers, but we will make the overall experience similar to conventional coffee stores."
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Order Your Latte From An App
Instead of relying on human interactions, customers can download the Artly app on their Android or Apple mobile devices. From here, users can choose the closest Artly location to order from the app.
Once the café receives the order, the robot arm begins working. It uses deep learning-based computer algorithms to make the ideal coffee blend every time. App users can also fine-tune their orders by customizing different fields, such as espresso dosage, drink size, and milk type to use.
Users may also choose the coffee bean type to use in their beverage. However, the coffee beans available to use are still subject to availability.
Starbucks veteran and current Artly vice president Daniel Lee says in an interview with Business Wire that the AI technology used by the café has a, "relentless focus on quality and service."
The coffee shop also ensures that each cup served is perfect as it should fit each customer's preferences.
Coffee-Making Robots Are Crowd Pleasers
Artly's AI-powered robots making coffee beverages and latte art became a hit on different social media portals. One TikTok video, in particular, shows the robot arm making a multi-colored coffee beverage. That short clip has over 500,000 views, 16,700 likes, and 400 shares at the time of writing.
@seattlecoffeegear Would you let a robot make YOUR coffee? 😳 Looks pretty delicious! 📸 @ artly.coffee #robotics #espressomachine #latteartist #robotik #coffeetok #coffeetiktok #tiktok #coffeeaddict #makecoffee #robottok #robotsontiktok #makecoffeebetter #coffeewithmilk #cafes ♬ Sky - FigoBeatz
Many people are expressing their adornment through positive comments on that video. One TikTok user says that it's a "Yes," considering that he doesn't have to talk to a person to order his coffee.
Other people are also fans of the coffee-making machine, saying that human errors can become a thing of the past.
Automating The Food Service Industry
Artly isn't the only establishment in the food & beverage industry that's now seeking and using the power of AI to automate tasks. For instance, a McDonald's branch in Texas uses automation to streamline product-making and customer-serving tasks.
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Like Artly, this particular McDonald's restaurant allows customers to order from an app. Then, the user can go through the drive-thru lane to pick up their orders.
International coffee chain Starbucks is also transforming certain parts of its operations with the help of AI power. Called the "Deep Brew" technology, some Starbucks app users can get personalized offerings based on their previous orders.
Not Everyone Finds It Appealing
Aside from the positive feedback, some people commented on their fear and doubts in the TikTok video's comments.
One TikTok user explains that many jobs will disappear, including the need for human baristas, in the next 5 to 10 years. Another user says that hiring people is still relevant because they need money.
Tidio, an online platform that helps provide metrics to different businesses, surveyed 1,200 people about their thoughts on AI and robots. In that report, almost 69% of college graduates fear that AI is going to replace their jobs.
However, over 60% say that they're still okay with the idea of using AI for certain services, such as logistics and transportation. Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, says that the introduction of AI in businesses will cause some job disruption.
However, it's still worth mentioning that AI won't replace all jobs powered by humans soon. Tidio's survey also states that AI won't be able to take away certain professions. These jobs include being an artist, musician, and police officer.
AI also requires frequent monitoring to ensure it works optimally. Although coffee-making robots might be better at making espressos and latte art than some people, they still lack the human interaction involved in making a holistic café experience.
Many people find AI to be human-like robots. But Tidio calls these software-powered machines "defective humans" instead.