Rise of the machines – good or bad?

Every year, we see several improvements in technology which make it less and less necessary for a person to be completing a job. Computers, ATMs, self-serve check outs, online shopping, and several other technologies have replaced a large portion of the workforce, leaving less jobs that require a human mind and body. Computers took the jobs of secretaries, ATMs took the jobs of bank tellers, self-serve check-outs are taking the jobs of supermarket workers, and online shopping is creating less traffic in department stores, which could resultantly create less need for physical stores.

As technology advances, they can be used and applied in more situations. I read an article on LinkedIn about Amazon’s first trial making a delivery using a drone a few weeks ago, and it all went successfully. There was also a video on Facebook showing a machine that can be used to 3D print a house. If these gets implemented on a full scale, there may no longer be a necessity to have delivery drivers, or even builders.

These technological advances are not necessarily bad thing, the advancements in technology can also create jobs. Using the examples before, instead of having delivery drivers, businesses could employ drone pilots, and instead of builders, they can employ people who architects who the designs for these 3D printed homes. The underlying purpose of all advancements in technology is to make life easier for people.

Whilst working at a bank, there have been several implementations of new technology to make banking for people easier. People used to have to physically go into a bank branch in order to complete their banking, then ATMs were introduced, then telephone banking and now internet banking. Now that internet banking is in place, many people including myself do not have any contact with the bank’s staff at all. Almost everything can be done yourself using technology.

In terms of banking, from my point of view, advancements in technology benefit the consumer because you can do more for yourself, as all the necessities of banking can be completed on an app in the palm of your hand. Making a trip down to a bank branch seems very tedious, and time consuming, in my point of view.

However, there are still consumers who refuse to learn how to use the new services, and continue to either contact the bank via phone, or attend the branch itself. These people tend to be the older generations of the population, and those that are not so tech savvy. It can be seen in other stores such as in supermarkets, there are more and more people using the self-serve check outs and the same older generation tend to want to speak to a person.

Having workers like myself on the phone, workers within bank branches, and workers in supermarkets are still currently in place to cater for these people, but as the population becomes more familiar with technology, I believe that these services will slowly be phased out.

Already, we’re seeing some bank branches becoming ‘express branches’ where minimal staff are physically there, and there are iPads, or other devices there to encourage people to use internet banking.  This allows for people to complete what needs to be done, and get on with the rest of their day.

As time passes on, and technology continues to advance, which industries do you think will always need people? Do you think it’s possible for technology to replace us all as workers? Is the advancement of technology good or bad for people and businesses?

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