I think the new self service machines in Tesco are great, they are quick, I’m not embarrassed about giving them a pile of random change or paying for whatever the random change at the bottom of my bag doesn’t cover with my credit card and I think it’s rather cool that a human doesn’t need to do that anymore, I doubt it’s a fun job.
Where the problem begins is that the human that previously filled this role must now figure out what role they will fill in the future because in our society they have to fill a role. If you don’t fill a role then you lose social and economic standing.
Imagine yourself in that situation for a moment, what if you aren’t needed anymore by society? I mean think about what that must feel like, you are surplus to requirements. All you do is consume resources that you have no hand in producing, you are in effect a useless eater. This is a real thing, there aren’t enough jobs out there for everyone.
It’s not something we can allow in our society, it leads to social problems like increased addiction and participation in the shadow economy (black market). We must address the issue and provide the same opportunity for others that we would want for ourselves, that means a job where you earn enough to pay rent, food, a little discretionary as well and it means opportunity to advance your skills.
How are we going to do that though as more and more the requirements are met by machines? I don’t know but it’s a problem that we should be talking about.