One of the points I made was that many of the services performed by real, living human beings were not performed as well by the technology that replaced them. What I didn't mention were examples of newer technology that does not work as well as older technology. I forgot to mention automated toilets.
Whenever I walk into an airport men's room, I notice that anywhere from one to about a third of the toilets don't flush. The same thing for many of the sinks and towel dispensers. Some brainiac somewhere thought that it would be a great idea to, instead of simply letting us use the simple lever (is this really a problem for 99 percent of people?), instead have us have to rely on sensors that electronically detect whether someone is getting up from the toilet or has their hands in the sink or has them in front of the towel dispenser.
Of course, they break. And when the break, there is literally no way to flush or turn on the spigot or get a towel. So often there are several toilets that are simply unusable. Is this really better than the more primitive technology they had before?
So you stand there in front of the towel dispenser, dancing around trying to get the machine to recognize you. Finally, you just give up and go on.
Anyway, that just my little introduction to a new article expressing the Neo-Luddite philosophy. I'm telling you folks, it's our economic undoing:
Very few of us can be sure that our jobs will not, in the near future, be done by machines. We know about cars built by robots, cashpoints replacing bank tellers, ticket dispensers replacing train staff, self-service checkouts replacing supermarket staff, telephone operators replaced by “call trees”, and so on. But this is small stuff compared with what might happen next.
Nursing may be done by robots, delivery men replaced by drones, GPs replaced by artificially “intelligent” diagnosers and health-sensing skin patches, back-room grunt work in law offices done by clerical automatons and remote teaching conducted by computers. In fact, it is quite hard to think of a job that cannot be partly or fully automated. And technology is a classless wrecking ball – the old blue-collar jobs have been disappearing for years; now they are being followed by white-collar ones.Read more here.