British Firm Tries Out Virtual Receptionist

Aug 20, 2013
Originally published on August 20, 2013 7:20 am
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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.

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