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Your barista is a robot. Should it be friendly?


The cold, steely arm of Fernando the Barista swirled the foam of my matcha latte, set it down gently and waved goodbye from inside a glass case. San Francisco, 2018. Where you can get robot pizza and robot salad, and now, a robot matcha. With oat milk, but no latte art. Yet.

There were humans inside the small coffee shop on Market Street, but only some of them ordered drinks. Some of them came in just to gawk at Fernando: The machine was sleek and white, like an Apple product, and its glass enclosure made it seem like a small animal on display.

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