Is Automation Evil?


Is automation evil?

Every morning we start our day at Fluxxr with LRNNR (pronounced learner). Today’s class was taught by Caleb Coffee our in house automation expert. We talked through several scenarios of the pluses and minuses of automation and it made me think: Is automation the genetically engineered progeny of the industrial revolution? Take a little bit of assembly lines and a little bit of microprocessing and insto presto we have alarm clocks and Nest thermostats and Keurigs.

Have we created our replacement?

Are we going to become too atrophied to doing anything because everything is automated?

I recently purchased a mini-van, yes I have that many kids. Nearly everything on the van is automated. The doors can open and close with the touch of a button. They will stop opening and closing if a kid touches them or gets in the way. Each area of the van has it’s own thermostat control. It will tell me when someone is in my blind spot or when I am backing up it warns me if someone is driving nearby that might run into me. And a million other little automations. All in all my wife and I are super happy with the purchase, but now my kids don’t have to be conscience of others getting in the van. They don’t have to worry about smashing their sibling’s fingers in the sliding door. Heck the only thing they have to do is buckle up and it warns me if they don’t do that.

Are my kids going to lose their ability to critically think through cause and effect?

I think I both love and hate automation, which is weird because a large portion of my income comes from automating processes for businesses. I just know that I like my iPhone to go into Do Not Disturb at 10pm and that dinner tastes better after you chop wood.

What do you think?

(I stole the featured image from Dan Hagen's blog.)