Here I am, happily listening to one of my favorite podcast as they discuss the current writer’s strike as well as the the use of AI in music. They discussed the ability for ChatGPT to create songs using the voices of musicians both alive and dead. “People want authenticity” one podcaster exclaimed. Those in the room nodded in agreement. The conversation covered the rise and flop of NFT (I write about this here “Mo’ Money! Mo’ Money! EDI! EFI! NEFT!” ), and even the possible use of AI in politics. The information that made me pause was when they shared there’s a fully automated McDonalds that has no human employees. I knew this was coming one day.
Years ago, I remember when self-checkout stations started popping up at grocery stores. My mother was aghast and refused to use them. “That’s taking away a job from an actual person. Just wait, one day they will get rid of all people”. I rolled my teenage eyes and looked curiously over at a person checking out their own groceries. Fast forward to today, and here we are. Not only are there more and more self checkouts at grocery stores, they’re also self check outs at other stores such as pharmacies, in addition to the boom of online shopping.
Where or where dear reader do we go from here? The use of automation has made our lives easier (including my own). As a society, we can not live without our smartphones, nor can we do much without being connected to the internet, social media and the ease of communicating with doctors, teachers, service providers and even friends. We are rooted firmly in a society where 21st century digital literacy skills are essential in order to survive in this world. It’s a bit off putting to know there is an entire fast food eatery that operates entirely by automation. It’s rather symbolic of the kind of food that is served at this establishment (we all know we should not eat at McDonalds, even though they have classic french fries!). I think I will get more concerned when fine dinning becomes fully automated. What about you dear reader, what are your thoughts as we continue to move further and further away from our natural world?
5 thoughts on “F*u*l*l*y A*u*t*o*m*a*t*e*d”
I still consider myself very much old school. The automated customer service
still drives me crazy !! I would wait
however long to talk to an actual person. It’s just my options seem to never be listed, or how can a machine ever fully grasp my frustration as it relates to my issue? I feel we are on the brink of just that, just as this article specified. I had no idea a fully automated restaurant ever existed. How do you complain about food or inadequate services rendered? How do you communicate your immediate request for refunds? So many questions! With that being said, I am guilty of being close to my smart phone. Which makes me think it started with the phone, and we helped put ourselves in this predicament.
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Yes, we are responsible.
We enjoy the idea of doing “less”, and receiving the same pleasures of actually “doing”. It’s very interesting to see where or choices lead us. All kinds of resembling some of our favorite science fiction movies. However, if we find the balance of actually committing to a task, and the enjoyment associated which achieving it. Followed with a possible approach, that involves us allowing automation to assist rather than do. We can stop what we started, and get back to being what we were created to be. Work interdependently with one another, create opportunities for a better existence and evolve while not becoming to far removed from our hunter- gather instincts.
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Curious to see where we will be in 5-10 years!