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'Eat the future, pay with your face': my dystopian trip to an AI burger joint


Lois Beckett reports on a visit to CaliExpress, a 'fully autonomous' restaurant in Los Angeles that uses AI-powered robots, such as Flippy, to cook fast-food like burgers and fries. Amidst labor cost debates and wage increases, CaliExpress demonstrates a potential future where humans collaborate more with technology than execute menial tasks, yet the experience leaves Beckett pondering the quality and implications of such automation.

  • CaliExpress claims to be the world's first fully autonomous restaurant.
  • Opened on the same day California increased the minimum wage to $20/hr.
  • AI 'Flippy' can cook fries, chicken wings, and more adjusting fry times.
  • Flippy uses computer vision to adapt to changes in the kitchen layout.
  • Humans at CaliExpress still needed for tasks like cleanup and pressing buttons.