image

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ATM machines, self-service checkouts and online booking forms are just a few roles that have been replaced by technology in the last generation.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?

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

What are your views?

We'd love to hear your comments

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password
Denys1954
7th Jun 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
We were told when we were young that robots would be doing all the work and we would have an easy lifestyle, that hasn't happened yet and I don't think it will happen for many years. Automation couldn't make a worse job than we have already made
Bald123
11th May 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
In many cases I welcome automation. It makes life faster and simpler especially for an old codger like me.
longtime john
9th May 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
If we keep employing robots to serve us then the people who should be earning a living won't have any money to visit the shops . I for one very rarely use auto tills when shopping and if you have a friendly till person it can brighten the day , if my supermarket changes to full automation I'll change my supermarket.
AlisonP24
2nd May 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
I don't agree with a lot of automation, it is handy in some cases though. Nothing worse than phone automation, press 1, press 2, press 3 and still get to the wrong person and have to be passed around!
Raindrop
30th Apr 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
I too worked in retail over the years and it was a pleasure to assist people and have a chat with them whilst serving. We should not loose this human contact it is important. It teaches small children manners and politeness.
GAYNOR MOUNTFORD
29th Apr 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
Why do we need more automation I like to speak to a person . I worked in retail all my life and I enjoyed every minute that I could help my customer getting an outfit . Also . Shoes . Hat . Jewellery. Now an machine could not do that . This is for busy working people who just want to run in . But when the busy worker upper level they think that they flick a finger and the staff come running . Working in a shop was a great job years ago but now it is classed as an lower paid worker ???? Don't they have a name they are not computers .
swaneldo
29th Apr 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
There's room for both - automated tasks are all very well until they go wrong (in supermarkets every 2 seconds it seems!). There appears to be a lack of in house staff trained to deal with mechanical failure so there's an avenue of skilled employment there. Some of us just want to do the task and get cracking, but there should always be staff around for those who want the interaction. 50/50 is always a good compromise on everything.
Raindrop
29th Apr 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Automation may be convenient for some but not for all. I too like to speak to someone whilst paying for my purchases, whether at a supermarket or corner shop. It`s the personal touch and we should never loose that. With more job losses there will be more people turning to benefits and food banks. This country is going to the dogs.
Cactus14
28th Apr 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
I said no, but this is what technology has brought upon us, not only does it take away employment but it, in most cases, mass produces everything and then there is so much waste. Waste only adds to the environmental disaster that is causing so many problems. Unless someone comes up with something to slow this down what state will the world be in 100 years down the road.
Irene88
27th Apr 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
People forget that not everyone has a computer or internet access,
either by choice or the fact they cannot afford them on a low income. Many older people have problems with telephone banking, let alone using a computer.

Social isolation is a big problem. People like to do their shopping, bill paying etc., in person because it's the only chance they get to speak to someone during their day.

Banks, shops etc only think about what is easiest and cheapest for them. customer service does not come into the equation.

We are the lucky ones because we can make out voice heard.
Mrchipps1
25th Apr 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
I think that automation to some extent is a good thing, but it can and will take away valuable jobs and also make some people feel more lonely and less able to cope?
Felix1
21st Apr 2019
6
Thanks for voting!
We need these jobs. There are plenty of unskilled workers who need work.
Catkins
21st Apr 2019
7
Thanks for voting!
As I'm not employes by a supermarket I see no reason to do the cashiers job or to cause him/her to loose their job either. Awful new introduction and hate it.
Retiredyorkie
20th Apr 2019
7
Thanks for voting!
Automation to me is a bad thing - don't mind filling the petrol tank up but I still speak to the person I pay at the kiosk.


I do not use auto check outs at a supermarket, I prefer to speak to someone and pass the time of day.

The world would be a very lonley place if everything was automated the art of conversation with the outside world would be long gone.
Bossington88
20th Apr 2019
5
Thanks for voting!
If a retail outlet wants my custom then the least they can do is to have a member of staff to take my payment, this is increased profit with the aid of automation.
viking
19th Apr 2019
7
Thanks for voting!
Low skilled jobs,...........automation takes over,..........personel involved made redundant,.........on scrap heap as unable to find another low skill job due to everything now being made automated,.........join the happy band of, by now, people on benefit,...........how long can the treasury make these payments for ?? What a depressing scenerio
viking
19th Apr 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Low skilled job, aut
MrsPat
19th Apr 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
Many things are simple but some are frustrating. i do not think most shops have got their automation simple enough yet.
Colkeeper
17th Apr 2019
4
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
16th Apr 2019
7
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
16th Apr 2019
5
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
16th Apr 2019
4
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
15th Apr 2019
5
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
13th Apr 2019
7
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
15th Apr 2019
6
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
12th Apr 2019
6
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
12th Apr 2019
8
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
15th Apr 2019
4
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
12th Apr 2019
5
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
12th Apr 2019
4
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
8
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!"

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!