Incident 346: Robots in Japanese Hotel Annoyed Guests and Failed to Handle Simple Tasks

Description: A number of robots employed by a hotel in Japan were reported by guests in a series of complaints for failing to handle tasks such as answering scheduling questions or making passport copies without human intervention.


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Alleged: unknown developed an AI system deployed by Henn na Hotel, which harmed Henn na Hotel guests and Henn na Hotal staff.

Incident Stats

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Incident Date
Khoa Lam

Incident Reports

Reports Timeline

Robot Hotel Loses Love for Robots · 2019

SASEBO, Japan—Yoshihisa Ishikawa’s one-night stay at a robot-staffed hotel in western Japan wasn’t relaxing.

He was roused every few hours during the night by the doll-shaped assistant in his room asking: “Sorry, I couldn’t catch that. Coul…

Robots Ruin Robot Hotel · 2019

Hotel owner Hideo Sawada said he wanted to run “the most efficient hotel in the world” by staffing it almost exclusively with robots. According to a new report, however, the hotel has laid off more than half of its bots for being inefficien…

Japan’s robot hotel lays off half the robots after they created more work for humans · 2019

It turns out that even robots are having a tough time holding down a job. Japan’s Henn-na “Strange” Hotel has laid off half its 243 robots after they created more problems than they could solve, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal.…

Hotel sacks half of its robot staff for being bad at their jobs · 2019

A high-tech hotel in Japan has been forced to lay off half of its robot staff after finding they were incompetent and created more work for humans.

he robots were introduced partly as a novelty and partly to reduce the need for human staff …

Japan’s Henn na Hotel fires half its robot workforce · 2019

Japan’s Henn na Hotel, which first opened in 2015 with a staff of robots, has cut its robotic workforce after the experience failed to reduce costs or workload for its employees.

The hotel, which is located in Nagasaki, will reduce its 243-…


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.

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