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HAB911

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Atlanta, Gerogia
Home country: USA! USA! USA!
Current location: Tampa, Florida
Member since: Wed Sep 7, 2016, 06:45 AM
Number of posts: 6,086

About Me

Alias - HABanero(passion) E-9-1-1(career, retired telco engineering) HHC 3rd Bde, 2nd Inf Div, Korea DMZ HHC 197th Bde, 3rd Army, Ft. Benning Ga

Journal Archives

Why Self-Checkout Is and Has Always Been the Worst

Automation is often presented as an inexorably advancing force, whether it’s ushering in a threat to jobs or a promise of increased leisure or larger profits. We’re made to imagine the robots rising, increasingly mechanized systems of production, more streamlined modes of everyday living. But the truth is that automation technology and automated systems very often fail. And even when they do, they nonetheless frequently wind up stranded in our lives.

For every automated appliance or system that actually makes performing a task easier—dishwashers, ATMs, robotic factory arms, say—there seems to be another one—self-checkout kiosks, automated phone menus, mass email marketing—that actively makes our lives worse.

I’ve taken to calling this second category, simply, shitty automation.

Shitty automation usually, but not always, comes about when new user-facing technology is adopted by a company or institution for the ostensible reason of minimizing labor and cutting costs. Nobody likes wading through an interminable phone menu to try to address a suspect charge on a phone bill—literally, everyone would rather speak with a customer service rep. But that’s the system we’re stuck with because a corporation decided that the inconvenience to the user is well worth the savings in labor costs.

https://gizmodo.com/why-self-checkout-is-and-has-always-been-the-worst-1833106695
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