Automation is often presented as an inexorably advancing force, whether it’s ushering in a threat to jobs or a promise of increased leisure or larger profits. We’re made to imagine the robots rising, increasingly mechanized systems of production, more streamlined modes of everyday living. But the truth is that automation technology and automated systems very often fail. And even when they do, they nonetheless frequently wind up stranded in our lives.
Personally, I like the opportunity that self-checkout allows in my children scanning the items and inserting the money into the slot. I am not however interested in Amazon Go’s model.