Lawmakers discuss how artificial intelligence could impact Hawaii's workforce
From smart phones, self driving cars to hotels run by robots--it seems technology is moving faster than lightning these days. State lawmakers are discussing the future role artificial intelligence could have on Hawaii's economy.
"We're saying learn about what AI is doing to technology and to all these jobs and all these businesses, robots, driverless cars and drones," said Rep. Gene Ward.
The Small Business Caucus hosted a panel about advancements in AI. Rep. Ward pointed out how Hawaii's workforce should start preparing for potential impacts.
"Get your people ready to be retrained for a lot of things in the service economy," he explained.
In San Francisco, an animal advocate organization relies on robots for overnight security. The automation concept is even catching on in the hotel industry. A Sheraton hotel in Los Angeles features bots that deliver room service and greet guests.
In Waikiki, guests at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel already have the option to check in via mobile app. Unite Here Local 5 tell KITV, members are concerned front desk positions will be among the first positions to go.
"We need those jobs to be guaranteed in our hotels and to not be replaced by machines. I just hope humans want to continue to talk to each other and stop talking to machines," said Sheraton Waikiki Cook Jenny Johnson.
Its a concept Local 5 rallied over during recent negotiations. The union since asked members be given a seat at the bargaining table should corporate introduce AI technology into a number of hotel chains.