Las Vegas, known for its bustling hospitality and tourism industry, is witnessing the rapid integration of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) in various sectors. From check-in kiosks at hotels to text-bots providing restaurant recommendations, the city is embracing technology to reduce labor costs and increase efficiency.
According to studies, between 38% and 65% of jobs in Las Vegas could be automated by 2035, posing a significant challenge for the city’s economy heavily dependent on tourism and hospitality. This has led to a debate on how to adapt to a world where certain jobs are no longer essential.
John Restrepo, a principal at RCG Economics in Las Vegas, suggests diversifying the city’s economy by focusing on highly skilled occupations that are less susceptible to automation. He emphasizes the importance of balance and resilience to mitigate the impact on workers.
Unions, such as the Culinary Union, which represents 60,000 service and hospitality workers in Las Vegas and Reno, are closely monitoring the rise of AI and automation. The union aims to negotiate a new contract that includes protections against job displacement caused by technology. In their previous contract, they secured a six-month warning period for workers before the introduction of new technology and free training to adapt to it.
While workers express concerns about job security, some argue that AI will never fully replace the human touch and personal interaction that customers seek. Service workers at establishments like the Tipsy Robot and MGM Grand believe that their jobs are safe due to the unique experiences they provide.
However, it’s not just service workers who will be affected. AI and automation are also set to impact white-collar jobs, such as accounting and data entry. While some roles may be eliminated, new opportunities in previously unexplored fields will arise.
To prepare workers for this shift, Las Vegas city officials have started hosting panels and events to educate individuals about AI and its potential impact. The local Chamber of Commerce recently organized a panel discussion on the use of AI, attracting small business owners like Tony Yee, who are eager to learn and adapt to the changing landscape.
As Las Vegas embraces technology, the challenge lies in finding a balance between automation and maintaining the unique human touch that draws millions of visitors to the city every year.
1. Will AI completely replace service workers in Las Vegas?
While AI has started to replace certain tasks in the service industry, such as check-in kiosks and text-bots, service workers argue that their jobs are safe due to the personalized experiences they offer. AI can assist in enhancing productivity, but it cannot fully replicate the human touch.
2. How are unions responding to the rise of AI in Las Vegas?
Unions, like the Culinary Union, are closely monitoring the impact of AI and negotiating for protections against job displacement caused by technology. They aim to secure warning periods for workers and training opportunities to adapt to new technology.
3. How will AI affect white-collar jobs in Las Vegas?
AI is expected to impact white-collar jobs, such as accounting and data entry. While some roles may be eliminated, new job opportunities in emerging fields related to AI and automation are also likely to arise.
4. How is Las Vegas preparing workers for the shift towards AI?
Las Vegas city officials are organizing events and panels to educate workers about AI and its potential impact. This proactive approach aims to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to adapt to the changing work landscape.