The future is Integration and Automation

“Modernity is here”

Photo by CardMapr on Unsplash

I was reading an article by Luay Rahil on my daily Medium morning binge (Nice article BTW).

^This is the article

Anyway, it got me thinking about the future of these companies and how they will use automation to solve some of their current problems. But most importantly, what it means for us as consumers, employees and small-business owners.

Now don’t get me wrong; I think that some automation will be great. And it’s important to take into consideration that automation has been around for a long time. Think about that coffee maker you can program to make coffee at a certain time in the morning. Think about social media apps and how they let you choose a time to post in advance. That’s all the concept of automation.

Even our bodies do it naturally- we are programmed to want to sleep and wake at a certain time according to our genetics and other environmental factors. It’s a little more complicated than that, obviously, but you get the idea.

So now that we have a loose definition of what automation is, let’s talk about integration.

Integration is the act of taking automated processes and incorporating them into a system.

Automation, Integration, and Coffee

A perfect example is the automatic coffee maker. Instead of me waking up earlier to make a cup of coffee by hand (I like my pour-over’s so this is sacrilegious), I would program a machine so that way at 7:30 a.m. I am getting out of the shower with a cup already waiting for me. The automation is the machine and the integration is me substituting my pour-over for the mechanized brew. Voila, I just saved 10 minutes, that I will probably use on Medium.

It’s with this basis we can step into a future imagined by yours truly, a furniture salesman on Medium.
Yes, that’s my actual job right now. What a world.

The industry I can first conceptualize with integration is fast food/coffee and hospitality. I can conceptualize it because we’ve already been using automation for a few years now. A lot of these bigger chains already have an app in which you can order ahead. You still have to do most of the work to order it, but I’m going to plant a scenario in your head that will make it much easier to picture the automation and integration I mean.

It’s 8 a.m. in the year 2030. You get into your electric car to head to work. Let’s assume we’re still doing that. When you get into your car, you hear a voice say, “Good morning *insert name here*, would you like me to order you a coffee this morning?” You reply, “Yes, and I will take my usual.” The car answers, “Confirmed, I will order that when we are within 5–10 minutes of your destination.”

Think about the implications of this for a second. What are we going to do when parking lots are too full of these electric monstrosities? We are going to have to re-design our parking lots. The way we do things now is too clunky for us to take advantage of this integration. Some drive-thru’s might become fully automated. We might even have parking areas in which a robot brings us our drinks and food.

We pretty much already have the technology, or at least the framework to do this. We have refrigerators that can order us food automatically when we are running low, and Amazon will delivery it for us.

All of this is coming to a future near you.

A Warning

But where does that leave the economy? Well, in my view, the only way the economy can survive is with some sort of UBI (universal basic income). Side hustling will become a main-source of income for most, the 9–5 will be dead and we will mostly be working menial, temporary jobs.

This abundance of “creators” will become the advertising companies themselves. This abundance also brings some negatives; one of which being the quality of work that will be produced. If we don’t start working now, our quality of work will be lesser than most. And then the Matthew principle will take over, which essentially states, “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” This principle can apply to anywhere in life. Money, talent, fame, skill.

Closing Thoughts

Automation will be good for us from a few different perspectives. It can make our lives more efficient so we can spend more time with family and doing the things we love. But with it comes the danger of us becoming too reliant on automation, literally making us automatons. Small business needs to adapt and compete with these giants. We need to continue to work on our creative skills in order to compete in the future. Overall, there are positives and negatives, and as the technology changes, so too will our concept of what we can, should, and will automate.

Hey everyone! If you enjoyed this article, I wrote a (semi?) closely related article on Daily life. You can find it below.

Cheers!

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Matthew David

Matthew David

Philosopher. Writer. Coffee Addict. I write about Philosophy from the Ancient Greeks to Existentialism. https://medium.com/@matthew-david/about ←Learn more here