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Most common self-service technologies

 

Self service technologies are there to remove costs and speed up consumers interaction at the place where it is installed. We are used to the removal of human interactions for some functions others we still would like some customer service.

 

ATM and gas pumps have shorter lines, are 24 hours, and don’t require anyone present for you to be able to use them. They do take some jobs away from where they were installed but do not completely replace all the functions of the previous job. The ATM doesn’t do all the functions of the bank teller but we get convenience, speed at the cost of fees and perhaps job loss. Gas pumps we may be more used to giving up that job. An attendant who would do light service to your car while you waited and pump your gas. 

 

Technology is pushing the more industries to self service. As the cost of buying and servicing a machine grows slower. When it is lower than paying a person then the they might be replaced. At some point it feels your working for Pick and Save when you scan and bag your own groceries but it is faster when you are only buying one or two items. There needs to be some human interaction as problems still come up but those jobs are lost. 

 

McDonald has customer service kiosk that will order a burger for you when you press the pictures on the screen. People were not ready for this and grew confused in some locations and a person would have to help knowledgeable people. They were training people to use their replacement. McDonald still needs people to make orders but someday this might not be true. 

 

All of these jobs so far are lower end jobs. The biggest threat is fully autonomous driving. Those jobs are high paying middle class jobs with 3.5 million currently employed. If autonomous driving was safer and would cost less those would definitely go to a low paying attendant just to monitor the car. This would crush the economy of service people that assist drivers. Gas stations across the country and other places like rest stops that support drivers would be crushed. It would be another trade off. Automation destroyed many american auto manufacturing jobs but cars are safer than ever and it is cheaper to replace parts when each part when they are exactly the same. If all our goods were cheaper when computers are driving semis more safely, driving 24 hours and take the best routes would we still support that industry?

 

Technology is coming whether we want it or not. It will have positive and negative impact on us. It is up to us to decide whether we want to pay the cost.