This piece is about Japan’s Family Mart convenience store chain looking into using robots to stock shelves. But these wouldn’t be under AI control – folks using VR would run them. The idea, as the Japan Today story lays out, is to use remote VR control as a way to improve worker flexibility or help stores find workers when they’re having issues finding local employees.
In our discussion, one of us asked if this system could boost employment for people with disabilities, autism, or other conditions that make working in public difficult. It’s something I hadn’t thought about, but it feels like a great fit. Sure, future automation could make this mute, but our systems could also give companies reason to keep human workers while also introducing technology that helps them work … from someplace other than work.
I find it exciting.
–Jason Wilson, GamesBeat managing editor