Las Vegas is slowly being overrun with artificial intelligence. AI is working in front desks, bars, restaurants, casinos, and basically anywhere you look in the city. It is taking over bartending, doing hotel check-ins, serving food, and doing so much more in the different hotels, restaurants, and other establishments.
AI has been on the rise in the entire country in multiple industries, but especially in Vegas in various service positions. Hotel and restaurant owners want to push toward a more technologically reliant Vegas in order to cut down on their labor costs. They feel they would be able to heavily multiply their profits in the long run by investing in these machines over human employees.
AI is becoming such a widespread phenomenon that experts believe by 2035 38-64% of jobs will be automated by the year 2035.
Economic experts in the city question if the shift towards more AI will truly be more profitable. The principal at RCG Economics in Las Vegas, John Restrepo, posed the question “How do you factor in and how do you adapt your economic development strategy, your community strategy, your resiliency strategy to accommodate a world where certain jobs no longer exist?” Because Las Vegas is so heavily reliant on the tourism and hospitality industries, it is unclear how people in the grand scheme of things will feel toward all their interactions with computers when visiting the city.
Restrepo and some of his colleagues ultimately believe the city needs to move further from such a heavy reliance on those two industries for their economy. He believes that Vegas needs to incorporate more higher-skilled jobs that cannot easily be replaced by a machine and that will help create a positive balance.
To combat the heavy switch to AI, the Culinary Union prepares for a likely strike.
Nearly 60,000 service and hospitality employees in Las Vegas and Reno are represented by the Culinary Union. They are anticipating negotiations regarding their contract this year in which they will include demands protecting positions from AI takeovers. They are prepared to strike to get what they want if needed.
Some employees who work alongside AI have spoken about their experiences with the tech. One employee by the name of Sabrina Bergman, who works at the Tipsy Robot, a bar in Planet Hollywood with two robots that serve customers, explained what her role is with her mechanical coworkers. She described her job as assisting the robots with their job of bartending. According to her, she is there to account for robot error. She explains that if a cup is tipped over, she picks it up, or if a drink is under-poured, she fixes it. Herself and other people already working with AI don’t feel too worried that they will be cut out entirely. To her, the AI used in Las Vegas right now actually creates more need for human workers.