In a recent appearance on CNBC, Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol said the company views automating the more unsavory parts of the job as beneficial to retaining workers. Last month, Chipotle announced it’s working with Miso Robotics to customize a device, “Chippy,” to cook and season the burrito maker’s signature tortilla chips.
Recently, avid gaming expert and founder of ATLAS EARTH, an augmented reality real estate game which allows players to earn real life cash back on their digital properties, Sami Khan was playing a Roblox game where he was making digital burritos for Chipotle customers.
Sami, who was behind the launch of startups Acorns and Honey, couldn’t believe that this game would be fun for anyone, but then he realized there could be more behind it. And what Niccol said on CNBC could support that theory.
According to Sami, “At a first glance, I immediately thought, ‘what a terrible idea for a game.’ But therein lies my mistake. Taking a step back, this metaverse game might be a genius move. The moment I stopped looking at Chipotle’s foray into the metaverse less like a game and more like a game with a machine learning veneer, I really got interested.”
Sami’s own company, Atlas Reality, sits at the intersection of gaming, fintech and web3. According to Sami:
- The long game is inevitably going to be automation taking on the jobs that humans no longer want–and robotic burrito-making machines may be one of them.
- However, someone needs to train these robots. Machine learning involves pattern recognition of millions of scenarios and how to handle them. Humans need to guide them with inputs and corrections.
- Enter the Chipotle metaverse. For a moment, let’s stop calling it a game and call it a way for humans to digitally work at Chipotle without being there. Imagine making $20 an hour sitting in front of a computer, making burritos—except this time, they’re not digital burritos. They’re real burritos for real customers, and the human responses are being recorded as input, training an eventual self-sufficient machine.
“In a not-so-distant future, companies like Chipotle may need delivery drone drivers and human controllers to train and optimize their machine army. Is this metaverse game the Trojan horse?”