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Is automation a good thing?

Automation could replace 1.5 million jobs, according to a recent report from the Office for National Statistics.  

As technology advances, low-skilled and routine jobs are increasingly being replaced as they can be carried out much more quickly or more efficiently by a machine.

Automated robots have long helped factories meet the demands of manufacturing, but today automation is present almost everywhere we look, often to the benefit of the customer or consumer.

ATM machines, self-service checkouts and online booking forms are just a few roles that have been replaced by technology in the last generation. Instead of waiting for the bank to open, we can manage our accounts online and visit a cashpoint.

Rather than booking through a travel agent, it’s possible to book flights, accommodations and tours from the comfort of your living room, where you can take the time to find the right deal for you without the pressure of a sales assistant.

The advantage to businesses is clear; machines don’t need sick leave or lunch breaks, and customers taking advantage of automated services also appreciate the fact they can make purchases and appointments in their own time, in their own way.

While automation is eliminating low-skilled jobs, it also creates new-high skilled work in the process. As we become more reliant on technology we also need a skilled workforce who can build and service the technology we use daily.

What do you think? Is automation a good thing? Or would you prefer less automation and to return to a more personal, human touch? 

 

Is automation a good thing?

28 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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Colkeeper
1 days ago
1
Thanks for voting!
We live in an ever changing world, an evolving world. Man learnt how make fire; use flint as tools. Surely, automation is man's desire to continue to evolve.?
Wilf
2 days ago
1
Thanks for voting!
I don't think we have any choice in the matter. Life will get increasingly automated as it saves companies time and resources in most cases. It's everwhere. I check out at WH Smith and just lines of machines. Ditto the petrol pump. Ditto trying to get hotel quotes. It is a fact of life. In 50 years everyone will be used to it. I just wonder what all the people who do these jobs now will be doing?
Raeven
2 days ago
3
Thanks for voting!
Any automation is ideal for replacing for low skilled repetitive jobs and has the added benefit of making a business more cost effective.
However, any automatic system will always require some technical back up in human form. This is the future, hopefully ensuring more meaningful employment with a better work life balance. It is something to be embraced and not feared. I shop and bank online, at a supermarket I choose the automated check out and petrol pump to avoid inane conversation. I believe we will always need a balance of human/automation and we are a long way from being taken over by AI overlords!
Wilf
2 days ago
0
Thanks for voting!
I am not so sure about the AI. There are people like Ray Kurzweil chief engineer at Google who think AI will become self learning by the 2040s. Its not long off.
Alicia
3 days ago
1
Thanks for voting!
It is a good thing in small amounts but it is being used too much now! One example is the self service checkouts at M&S where a voice keeps shouting at me !!! Really hate that and I swear at it 🙂
Lionel
5 days ago
3
Thanks for voting!
Automation of itself is not the problem. It's the way we use it's possibilities.

So many local services and facilities, particularly in rural areas, have now been annhilated by machines that, as Yodama rightly says, there is for us less and less human contact.

We have an online prescription service - it's yet to work! Online banking, well that's a good joke, isn't it? Secure as a fools mouth. Automatic supermarket checkouts - watch your change, if you use cash.

But worse, much worse, automation is reducing job opportunities. It's re-shaping the job market and work place. New opportunities are not springing up as promised. Far from it. And what about over fifties who do not wish to, or are not able, to retrain? Re-train for what? Not everyone can become a computer service tech.

It saddens me to say the country has become an absolute free for all. Profit, profit and more profit. People matter so little these days yet we are our own most valuable resource, not one to be squandered like confetti.
Lionel
3 days ago
2
Thanks for voting!
Case in point: Our local bank branch in a small market town which is always busy has installed a new 'BTM'. To you and I that's Bank Teller Machine.

It will take over most functions of counter staff - if we use it.

Talking to a middle aged bank teller today I asked how many jobs will be lost to the branch? 'Two, including mine,' she replied.

There's only three staff in the branch!

Is automation a good thing? Ask that lady.
viking
6 days ago
2
Thanks for voting!
Automation may be the do all at the moment, but in my experience everything which is high teck and automated needs constant attention as regards maintenance and repair. From where I am the off shore wind turbines are constantly being visited by the servicing tenders.
Two visits by a" teckie" this year so far to unravel my computer problems, don't mention Boeing and their problems.
Hazbeck48
6 days ago
4
Thanks for voting!
I hate these automatic checkouts, and judging by the queues at our local supermarket, so do most other people. By the time you have figured out what to do, then struggled to get it to accept your shopping bags, called a member of staff over because you have some alcohol in your shopping, and got her to reset the machine when it’s had a hissy fit and jammed up...your frozen food has melted,
Sunbird73
3 days ago
0
Thanks for voting!
I agree hate the self service checkouts in supermarket. For some people living alone a word with the cashier is the only human contact they may get in a day. Many of those who work in supermarkets are students or women trying to earn a little extra money by working part time and automation means fewer jobs for them
ecarg
6 days ago
2
Thanks for voting!
Quite agree Elizabeth,adapting to change and appreciating the benefits seems to take longer as we get older . Automated tills are handy for a small shop and queuing at the checkout to get help with packing your shopping is useful to.
ElisabethR
6 days ago
2
Thanks for voting!
Remember when computers would do all the jobs and most people would be unemployed? I hate the scaremongering of everything. If its a new trend or way of life its doom a d gloom.
If you go back to the computers destroying jobs.....i just ask.....how many work in IT?
Yodama
10th Apr 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
There is less and less contact with humans, especially on phones when you have to press endless buttons to get answers.
Very frustrating at the best of times makes me want to scream "I want to speak to a human!"

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