Thursday, October 20, 2016

No more shopping lists

Automation is the buzz word. The machines are taking away our jobs. There are even talking about Universal Basic Income so that we still have money to spend while we will not have any job. Isn't that a dTream come true? We do not work. However, we get paid. When you get over the initial euphoria, there is another angle to the UBI. We are back to being kids. Whoever is handing out the UBI becomes our parent. While we debate our fate, there is no dispute about automation is going disrupt our lives. So the article by HBR caught my attention.

Quoting Amazon's Dash buttons, the article infers the following.
"...smart closets and refrigerators in the home will place orders directly with the retailers’ algorithms, sparing the consumer the need to prepare shopping lists, remember which products to buy, and go to the trouble of doing everyday shopping. Products will flow to the household like a utility, as electricity and water do.
Although the article is a guideline on how marketing changes as a result of automated shopping, I could not get past the reference to shopping lists.

Every week, my wife prepares a list of purchase and sends it to me. Though I dread this list, it has become a part of my weekend ritual. I use this list to undertake the journey to the local grocer. The list is unstructured in many ways. Sometimes, I have to go to multiple stores to buy all the items. Most of the time, I go through a couple of passes in the grocery store as these items are arranged differently in the list and the store. To tell you the truth, I reorganize the list to ensure I take the shortest possible path in the grocery store. Don't be surprised. Blame it on the no man's land created by efficiency and obsessiveness.

Considering the never-ending struggles with the weekend shopping, I should be happy to see the obsolescence of shopping lists. Strangely, it makes me sad. As a result of automation, my worth to the family has come out. They do not need me for getting the groceries. What is my contribution once the automatons take over? What would I do with all the free time? My head is spinning.


Photo Courtesy: Bruce Turner

6 comments:

  1. You can lend me some of your free time. Even with all the automation, I have started feeling that 24hrs is just not enough.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks like you have no work

    ReplyDelete

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