During a visit to Silicon Valley, I had an interesting encounter with a salesperson of the future: a robot. And it gave me a hint of what much of the workforce may look like sooner than many people think.
The robot — a tall, white tower with cameras on its sides and a dome-shaped sensor on its top — was moving along the entrance corridor of a giant Lowe’s home improvement center, and stopped in front of me when I approached it.
“Hi there. Is there something I can help you find?” it asked, with a slightly feminine-sounding voice. I responded that I was looking for a light bulb, and a big tablet on the robot’s chest immediately showed me about a dozen different types of bulbs, each one with a photo and price.
When I told it which one, the robot said, “That item appears to be on aisle 12. Would you like me to take you there?” I said yes, and the robot said, “Sure. Follow me.” And off it went.
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