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From Boomtown to Tech Town: Las Vegas Economy at Risk of Robot Takeover

According to analysts, the economy of Las Vegas, which heavily relies on tourism, has rendered numerous workers susceptible to being substituted by robots. To ensure the preservation of employment opportunities for humans, it is recommended that the city takes measures to diversify its economy. 

According to NPR, there has been a noticeable increase in the presence of robots performing various tasks in different industries. For instance, establishments such as the Tipsy Robot in Planet Hollywood now employ robots as bartenders. Additionally, many hotels have opted to replace traditional check-in desks with self-service kiosks. The increasing utilization of artificial intelligence has led to studies indicating that by the year 2025, up to two-thirds of jobs in urban areas could potentially be automated. According to a report released in July by the Chamber of Commerce, Las Vegas has been identified as the top city in terms of potential job losses attributed to artificial intelligence (AI).

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According to John Restrepo, an expert at RCG Economics in Las Vegas, the resort industry is actively seeking ways to reduce costs. One strategy being considered is the replacement of human workers with automated systems, but only in cases where it will not have a negative impact on productivity, profits, or the overall customer experience. 

According to his statement, the city should shift its focus from the hospitality industry to occupations that require advanced skills and are less susceptible to being replaced by artificial intelligence (AI). However, hospitality workers are determined to hold onto their jobs and are putting up a strong resistance. In order to safeguard against the potential replacement of jobs by artificial intelligence (AI), the Culinary Union, as conveyed by its secretary-treasurer Ted Pappageorge, intends to incorporate provisions in the upcoming contract to ensure adequate protections. Approximately 60,000 hospitality and service workers are represented by the union.

According to Pappageorge’s statement to NPR, there was a significant disagreement regarding technology during the previous contract negotiations, and he anticipates a similar situation during the upcoming negotiations. In order to ensure that the available jobs are accessible and suitable for us, our parents or guardians take certain measures. It is important to ensure that we are not treated dismissively or discarded like an unwanted item, such as an old shoe. The speaker expresses their refusal to tolerate the mentioned situation. 

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One of the optimists who is part of the team assisting the robots at the Tipsy Robot is Sabrina Bergman. According to her, the human touch in customer service roles cannot be completely replaced by machines. 

 

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