KFC in Shanghai now staffed by robots

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Colonel Sanders is assembling a robot army. At a high-tech new KFC store in Shanghai, customers can order their fried chicken and mashed potatoes via voice-activated robot…

Named Dumi, the robot is sophisticated enough to handle order changes and substitutions, though according to the Nanfang “its makers admit the robot has trouble distinguishing between certain dialects and accents.”

Robot order-takers aren’t the only advanced technology at this KFC store, which is located inside Shanghai’s National Exhibition and Convention Center. Customers can charge their mobile phones at wireless charging stations that also enable them to stream music, and pay for their meals via mobile payment services including Alipay and Baidu Wallet.

China has been staffing its restaurants up with robots for years, with automatons capable of everything from making ramen to serving as waiters. Robot servers aren’t always all they’re cracked up to be, however: Some restaurants have recently come to terms with the fact that when it comes to actually serving customers, humans still reign supreme.

Journalists and editors are duty-bound to offer that last comment. After all, they’re on the list of trades maybe easier to replace with robots than waiters.

At least if they work for news-as-entertainment American mass media.

KFC going to court to prove it hasn’t bred an eight-legged GMO chicken.

Lorck, The Basilisc chicken

The company that owns KFC is trying to dispel rumors that it genetically modified its meat and manufactured an eight-legged, six-winged chicken to serve to customers.

Yum Brands, which owns China’s largest fried-chicken chain, said in a statement Monday that it has sued three companies there that have been spreading false rumors on social media — among them that the restaurant delivered maggot-infested food and created a deformed chicken. It wants $242,000 and an apology from all three defendants…

KFC, which has more than 4,600 restaurants in China, has been fighting for its reputation for years. In 2012, Chinese media outlets reported that a KFC supplier had been using growth hormones and antibiotics to grow larger chickens…The accusations spurred fears about the country’s food safety. Then last year, KFC, along with McDonald’s and Pizza Hut, had to apologize to customers after a supplier was caught on video violating safety regulations — picking up meat from the factory floor and tossing it into mixers and touching meat on the assembly line with bare hands. There were also complaints that the meat was expired.

“When I saw that, I said, ‘Uh-oh, here’s six to nine months of problems,’” Yum chief executive David Novak told investors at the time…

KFC’s China CEO Qu Cuirong said in a statement that it is difficult for companies to guard against falsehoods, because it’s hard to get evidence, the Associated Press reported. “But the stepped-up efforts by the government in recent years to purify the online environment, as well as some judicial interpretations, have offered us confidence and weapons,” she said.

Even though physical, scientific evidence is easy to produce – especially when accusers have nothing to offer other than “what-ifs” and “maybes” – you still run the risk of know-nothings simply picking up and running with the headlines from low-lifes pretending to be investigative journalists.

We all know a few folks who will believe those headlines because it fits their view of the world around them.