Innovation Marred By Hourly Billing

Sadly, it looks as though even the most technologically advanced companies have fallen prey to the almighty billable hour. Tmsuk, a Japanese company that manufactures a robot, has begun to prostitute its creation, called Ubiko, for 52,500 yen or $445 and hour according to an Associated Press story.

Right now, the automaton can “greet customers with a nasal electronic voice, show DVDs with a projector in its head, and hand out balloons and other goods with wireless remote-controllable arms.” So, technically, it is a service worker, not a knowledge worker. I wonder if it knows how to keep a timesheet. Moreover, once it learns how to do a US tax return, it will probably be only worth $200 an hour.

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