16th June 2011 / Tom Quarry
American President Barack Obama has been recorded slating kiosks and ATMs saying how they have contributed to the nation’s unemployment figures. The U.S President sat down in a Today show interview with Ann Curry and took a swipe at touch screen technology, saying one of the reasons he though employment numbers have been slow to rebound was because of self-service automation, specifically kiosks and ATMs. Obama said: “There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don't go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you're using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate. All these things have created changes in the economy, and what we have to do … is identifying where the jobs for the future are going to be.”
MAN OR MACHINE?
It is arguable that touch screen technology has replaced human labour but it is only because it provides an extensive amount of benefits to both the business and the employee. Sophisticated ATMs are proven to dramatically reduce cash handling costs at bank branches, freeing up valuable staff time for more critical tasks. And kiosks have been proven to win the nation’s trust and likeability more so than man, which reflects the growing trend in technology and modern needs. Consumers prefer to interact with a touch screen unit rather than a human being and everyone knows that customer service in the form of human interaction is dying out but employees will always still be needed to man the machines should a customer need help in using it, or there be a technical fault.
GOOD OR BAD?
Some, for example the President Barack Obama, say kiosks are a bad thing others argue it is a simple progression in customer assistance. In such a tech-savvy world people are more willing than ever to use the technology and would rather do so than talk to a human. Is this a dilution of social development? Maybe so but the point is touch screen units reap tons of advantages as opposed to employing several members of staff. The technology speeds up processes in all industry sectors and the future of it is exciting and widely speculated…who really knows what it will hold! Check out a touch screen kiosk today!