British Firm Tries Out Virtual Receptionist

Shanice is about to start her job as the receptionist at a new local government office in London. She also happens to be a hologram. Officials say that at a cost of $19,000, she's much cheaper than a living and salaried alternative.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is more of an introduction: Welcome to Shanice, who is about to start her job as the receptionist at a new local government office in London. She also happens to be a hologram.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

That's right, a hologram receptionist. Officials say that at a cost of $19,000, she is much cheaper than a living and salaried alternative. But she can only respond to a small number of questions - like directions to different offices, or maybe how to use the elevator.

SHANICE: To use the lift, please call it by holding the button and keeping it held until the lift arrives.

MONTAGNE: And hopefully, she also knows the answer to the question receptionists get most often: Where's the bathroom?

(LAUGHTER)

MONTAGNE: And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

GREENE: And I'm David Greene.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.