Automation Isn’t New

by Ken Vincent, Featured Contributor

MANY PEOPLE, particularly the younger set, think that automation and IT innovation is something new. Well it isn’t. I grant you that high tech change is coming down the tunnel at an unprecedented rate of speed, but it isn’t new.

Opinion Yours CountsTechnology has been evolving since before the start of the industrial age. Much of that alteration has been more life changing than a new app today. In more recent times technology change has moved more toward automation, with machinery and technology replacing human effort instead of making the effort easier and more efficient. Just in my lifetime that has included direct dial phones, copy machines, automatic doors and elevators, and robots doing welding in manufacturing.

I recently read that a hotel chain is introducing a robot butler. This robot will bring fresh towels, or such other items as you may need in your room. Well, after the initial reaction of, “Gee, isn’t that cute” I don’t like it. For the rates in hotels today I want a live person to interface with. Neither do I get the warm fuzzies talking to a robot that represents my doctor. If I’m sick enough to be in a hospital bed I want a doctor not a rolling piece of battery powered machinery by my side.

The reality is that all this current automation and technology is putting a serious damper on human interfacing. Texts, emails, and even phone messages become terse even to the point of being rude sometimes.

Okay, I know, I’m not going to change the rush into technology and the price that comes with it. But, that doesn’t mean that I have to like it.

So, what is the take away from my ranting? Since we can’t stop this rush into high tech, how about we try to keep some humanity and courtesy in it?


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Ken Vincenthttp://sbpra.com/KennethVincent/
KEN is a 46 year veteran hotelier and entrepreneur. Formerly owned two hotels, an advertising agency, a wholesale tour company, a POS company, a leasing company, and a hotel management company. The hotels included chain owned, franchises, and independents. They ranged in type from small luxury inns, to limited service properties, to large convention hotels and resorts. After retiring he authored a book, “So Many Hotels, So Little Time” in which he relates what life is like behind the scenes for a hotel manager. Ken operated more that 100 hotels and resorts in the US and Caribbean and formed eight companies. He is a firm believer that senior management should share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of management.
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