We are building an anti-human world

Every time a utility that was not automated in the past fails, I think to myself: "Bot-World". Bot-World is growing ever wide ranging, whether it be card-readers failing at the store or needing to wave your hands around automatic faucets, only for them to activate for a microsecond, barely rinsing them off. There seems to be a computer chip in just about everything now and it's inconvenient for human life. The amount of times I was unable to wash my hands because a touch-free soap dispenser failed to sense my hand far surpasses any benefit of not spreading surface-contact germs that would be found in a traditional human-operated soap dispenser. In almost every instance, these automated alternatives work worse than their human-operated counterparts.

From an engineering perspective, it's comical that these took off in the first place. A traditional sink is made up of a few valves which are operated by a simple pair of handles, sometimes a single handle if you want to be fancy. These mechanisms have been iterated upon for hundreds of years, if a part breaks just about any hardware store would carry something to fix it. By automating them it adds a whole layer of complexity that was not present before. With the automated system you require electrical lines to be run, a sensor, a chip to activate the valve, and a solenoid valve. All of these can fail and result in an unusable sink, one that likely requires proprietary parts to repair. Simple systems are robust, complex ones are fragile.

There's also a sense of control that comes along with these systems. The sink only turns on for a second so you can't "waste" water, they deny your humanity, your capability to reason how much water is really too much; They know better than you after all. The elevator at my friend's apartment requires you scan a key card to use it and will only let you go to the floor you live on. You can't be trusted to go anywhere else in the building after all, you can't be trusted because you're lesser. You can't be trusted to make copies of the keys, we have ultimate authority on who can enter your place of residence, not you. You are lesser, you cannot be trusted, you are the rabble.

What sort of world do we want to build? One of science fiction, controlled by sparking circuits and flimsy light-sensors, that create more problems than they solve? Or one for humans, that have hands that can turn handles, feet that can press peddles, and legs that can move miles. Do we want to build a world for us or for the bots?

I choose us.

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