From stockrooms to restaurants, robots are becoming increasingly ubiquitous. But what do increasingly intelligent robots mean for the service industry?

In 1963, Luther Simjian filed a patent for a device that allowed patrons to deposit cash without going to a teller. After pilot testing at a New York City bank, the machine did not catch on. “The only people using the machines were prostitutes and gamblers who didn’t want to deal with tellers face to face,” Simjian once explained. The project was discontinued.

Today, people sulk when no ATMs are to be found within a stone’s throw. In similar capacities, people have adopted other technologies that simplify mundane tasks, such as self-checkouts in grocery stores and stamp kiosks in the post office. As technology becomes more sophisticated, businesses will be able to program machines to increasingly carry out some of the tasks that previously required humans.

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