It’s inevitable that robots and artificial intelligence will end up taking a lot of today’s human jobs over the next few decades, but whenever I’m in my local Tesco store, I can’t help but feel I’m hurrying the process on a little.
You see, I always opt for the self-service machines, even if there’s a staff member standing at the counter, waiting to serve me. Sure, these machines aren’t ‘intelligent’ but they’re replacing humans with a computerised process that some people (including me) prefer.
Today, as I scanned my first item, I glanced at the man in the uniform waiting to serve the next person who wanted some human contact (or who wanted to buy some cigarettes – another thing on their way out). I couldn’t help but feel a bit sorry that I was happily doing his job for him, helping to prod his employment to an end, and Tesco an inch closer to a fully-automated future.
Right now, the staff in my local store (it’s a small one) spend more time stocking the shelves than serving customers. No doubt it won’t be too long before there’s no need for them to do that, either.
“Sorry mate, I’m choosing the machine over you,” is something we’ll all be thinking and saying a lot more in the coming years.