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Futurist: A Brief Survey of Automation (What Is out There Today)

I am a long-time Futurist, and technologist. In my career, I have spanned the birth of personal computers, to the rise of Cloud Computing.

Do you think about the time you save when you reach an automated call in system?

Do you think about the time you save when you reach an automated call in system?

I think we all hate automated telephone systems. But in the long run they save a lot of time.

As a futurist, one of the things I look at often is Automation. The concept we call Automation takes many forms. Let's look at a couple of ways we use Automation today. First, removing humans from the system is a form of Automation. Repeating a simple task over and over is another form of Automation. It's set once and run many times. Finally, Automation in itself is something that people often don't even notice. Examples of Automation are stoplights and pedestrian crossings. Other than impatiently drumming your ringers while the light is red, when was the last time you thought about that Automation? It can be a good thing when we consider Automation and, in particular, where it exists or intersects our world. The light in front of you is green! Or it can be a bad thing, waiting for a red light.

An easy example of Automation is a telephone support system. For example, you are calling your pharmacy; or you are potentially calling your doctor. There are a series of automated prompts that guide you through the call. For example, press one if you need a prescription refilled. Press two if you need to schedule an appointment, and so on. That is a form of Automation, and I suspect it is a source of frustration for most of us. I don't know about you, but I spend most of those automated calls repeating the phase, customer service, please! I redirect your call. Customer service!

We are often seeking help when we call automated systems like that. But there is a positive side to that. That automation system can often solve callers' problems without a human taking the call. That means that if you get 10,000 calls and you can handle 5000 of the calls automatically, that means instead of taking 10,000 calls, your human representatives are of having to take 5000 calls or half as many. That means whatever your organization's average pre-automation call length was, with Automation, you can increase the call time per associate but solve just as many customer problems. Automation then allows the customer and the representative to solve the problem effectively. As a former helpdesk person, I started my IT career as a help desk person. At no time in my tenure was it our goal to talk to the key people on the phone in ways that count. We were there to solve problems and to try to help people. So, in this case, the other side of Automation is more helpful than people realize.

As machine intelligence systems get better and better able to handle Automation, I'm looking forward to an expansion of automation services that will help me. By helping me, I mean you, the person next to you, and the personnel mistake. In other words, all humans. I'm using which is very similar to the Royal we. I do see a value proposition on the other side of Automation. The faster I can solve problems, the faster I can move on to other things. When I have a difficult problem, I can call the helpdesk without worrying about it. I can go through the initial automation prompt, and by the time I get to a person, I will have tried several potential solutions for the problem. The upside of that downside is pretty good. But that said, there are more ways that Automation impacts our day-to-day world.

Sometimes Automation helps, sometimes, it is just annoying!

Another form of Automation that most of us are impacting is fire. Most of our automated automobile Lane warnings and smart cruise control systems have just been in front without you having are forms of Automation. For example, automatic parking systems and cars follow their remote Lord. So you can walk along the road to your car following you. The best example I've seen is the car commercial where you're running out to the store. You find a parking space, but because of the size of the vehicles on both sides, you can fit in the space, but you can't get out of your car. So you use the automatic backup system after aligning your car properly to put your car in that parking spot with you to avoid getting stuck inside the car.

There are many more examples of Automation. Unfortunately, I only have time to share some of them today. Automation continues to add value to how humans interact with the world around them. For example, I have to press option 329 times on the automated calling service because I need to talk to customer service!

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2022 DocAndersen

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