Las Vegas Sphere Unveils Humanoid Hosts Ahead of Public Opening


In an innovative addition to interactive entertainment, the Sphere in Las Vegas revealed on Tuesday that humanoid robots will be the first point of contact for guests arriving at the venue. Five lifelike robotic creations, all addressing guests as “Aura”, have been programmed to narrate the unparalleled journey of humanity’s innovative achievements, a tale that fittingly culminates at the Sphere itself.

David Dibble, the CEO of Sphere Entertainment’s MSG Ventures division couldn’t contain his excitement. “The Aura robots may strike some as unusual or even eerie, but there’s no denying their captivating appeal,” he admitted, describing how they follow, track, and engage with guests in a surprisingly interactive manner.

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Beyond their narrative abilities, Auras will serve practical functions such as providing directions within the venue and sharing specifics about daily performances. Leveraging state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, they can furnish comprehensive answers about the venue’s engineering and tech features. With each interaction serving as a learning experience, the Aura units can continually refine their technical capabilities.

Strengthening the Sphere’s digital footprint, an Aura prototype plays the role of the “spokesbot”, letting its digital presence felt across multiple platforms and social media channels. She even starred in a Sphere commercial broadcasted during the Academy Awards this year.

The Sphere is due to lift its curtains to the public on September 29th, marking the commencement of U2’s first Las Vegas residency.

Despite the obvious appeal of the Aura robots, their introduction into such a high-tech environment raises concerns about technological advances replacing human jobs. A World Economic Forum report in 2020 predicted that the shift in labor division between humans and machines could lead to the loss of 85 million jobs globally by 2025.

Las Vegas stands particularly vulnerable to such an automation threat with studies suggesting that up to 65% of all jobs on the Strip could be fully automated within a decade or so. Already, robots are being used in roles as diverse as serving food and drinks and front-desk agents.

Bethany Khan, representing the Culinary Workers Union Local 226, doesn’t appear fazed. She emphasized the inevitable evolution of hospitality jobs amidst changing technology. The Union, representing around 60,000 Las Vegas hospitality industry workers, is working towards an employee-oriented approach to integrating new technology into the workplace. Going forward, they aim to negotiate a new contract that fortifies protections against jobs being superseded by AI.