Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"We were essentially being shell-shocked by rapid change. That was one of the things you needed science-fiction writers for back in the Sixties, because we could cope with the future."
- Peter Watts

Manna  
  A software program that autonomously manages restaurants or other service industry businesses.  

The scariest thing about Manna is that anyone could implement it using present-day technology.

The "robot" installed at this first Burger-G restaurant looked nothing like the robots of popular culture. It was not hominid like C-3PO or futuristic like R2-D2 or industrial like an assembly line robot. Instead it was simply a PC sitting in the back corner of the restaurant running a piece of software. The software was called "Manna", version 1.0*...

Manna was connected to the cash registers, so it knew how many people were flowing through the restaurant. The software could therefore predict with uncanny accuracy when the trash cans would fill up, the toilets would get dirty and the tables needed wiping down. The software was also attached to the time clock, so it knew who was working in the restaurant...

Manna told employees what to do simply by talking to them. Employees each put on a headset when they punched in. Manna had a voice synthesizer, and with its synthesized voice Manna told everyone exactly what to do through their headsets. Constantly. Manna micro-managed minimum wage employees to create perfect performance...

From Manna, by Marshall Brain.
Published by Self in 2002
Additional resources -

Software doesn't stand still - new features are always being added.

As the Manna software evolved, it gained more and more responsibility. From the start Manna was able to schedule employee hours. Manna printed a piece of paper for each employee to put on the refrigerator -- it told you your hours for the week. In version 2.0 they went further. They connected Manna to the telephone network and the public email network. So Manna was able to begin calling and emailing employees and reminding them to show up on time. If an employee didn't show up, Manna could call in a replacement. If the store became unexpectedly crowded, Manna could call in reinforcements.

I'd tell you more, but you should read it for yourself at Manna by Marshall Brain.

Manna is the logical extension of software that has been in use for decades by employers with telephone customer service operators. The operator follows a branching script, reading questions and then entering customer responses. The "customer service representative" is really just a friendly front end for the software. These systems can make anyone who can read equal to a real representative with five years of experience with a product.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 3 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Manna
  More Ideas and Technology by Marshall Brain
  Tech news articles related to Manna
  Tech news articles related to works by Marshall Brain

Manna-related news articles:
  - Hyperactive Bob Fast Food Management Robot
  - Amazon Warehouse Computer Can Fire People Now

Articles related to Artificial Intelligence
Pun Generation Via Neural Nets
Can We Comprehend Deep Learning Systems?
Datagrid Model Generation Perfect For Eternal Cities Of Science Fiction
Amazon Echo And Google Home Should Have Morality Software

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

China Deploys Robot Traffic Police
'The robot came up smooth and fast as a rocket...'

Better Than Dune Chromoplastic? This Guy Might Have Done It
'But when Old Father Sun departs, the chromoplastic reverts to transparency in the dark.'

Gather, An AI Warehouse Inventory Drone Startup
'It extended three of its tiny arms sideways to lock onto the registration pins...'

China's Artificial Intelligence-Enhanced Education
'The grey gas not only cut off his vision, but also his other senses...'

Orbital Manufacturer 'Made in Space' Gets $73 Million NASA Contract
'Mass-produced in the orbiting factories...'

Soli Gesture Tech Will Be In Google Pixel 4
'I enjoy watching this way, but - He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Uber Eats Pairs Cars With Drones
Fresh grub? Let's hope they aren't delivering grubs.

Space-Based Solar Power Roundup
SF writers popularized and elaborated on this idea a generation before the first patents were filed.

Lost Language Meanings Found By Machine Learning
'The autopilot would need data before it could begin a translation...'

'Aerogel' Sheets For Martian Gardens
'Sealed to the ground along all the sides, Honey, he growled...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.