Technology has enabled us to automate many of the day-to-day tasks we used to struggle over. Compiling data, handling email, and even networking has become a largely automated process for many professionals. A recent survey conducted by Wakefield Research in coordination with Built.io found that the modern worker is hungry for automation.
Services like IFTTT connect different devices and services together enabling you to automate just about anything. You can have your air conditioner turn on when you’re five miles from home, send new business contacts an introductory email when they’re added to your contact list, or generate a spreadsheet that logs your company’s social media activity.
Password managers like LastPass and 1Password will even fill in your username and password for virtually website and app for you. Many email services will even schedule meetings on your calendar for you based on the content of your email.
Indeed we are becoming a culture of automation. But is it enough?
Giving up personal data for the convenience of automation
When you sign up to have things automated either at work or at home, you are trusting the service that handles that information with your personal data. Companies that automate tasks have to be able to see that data and have some ability to control whatever it is you’re trying to automate.
If you want a pizza ordered and delivered upon meeting your weight loss goal, a service will need access to information about your weight either through manually handing it over or enabling it to see your logged entries in Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, or one of any number of other fitness services. Then, it will need the ability to order a pizza on your behalf. This means giving that service a lot of insight into your life.
The study found that people are willing to give up personal information to a company online or through a mobile app in order to automate everyday household chores. And….
- 57% of respondents indicated that they would willingly hand this information over.
- Among Millennials, this number surged to 70%.
- 8% of the study’s participants indicated that they would hand over financial information such as their credit card number or bank account number for a little more convenience at home.
- Perhaps more surprisingly, the percentage that indicated they would share their current weight, diet, and health goals was 22%.
First busy-work, then maybe we work getting busy
When it comes to mundane, repetitive tasks, the workplace is king. Just about everyone has had to spend time during their day doing something that they would much rather have automated. In fact, an incredible 37% of working study participants indicated that they would prefer more automation in the workplace than a better sex life.
With such a large interest in automation, it’s no surprise that even the cars we drive are beginning to drive themselves. Tesla made a huge statement when its first general consumer automobile received hundreds of thousands of preorders, many of which happened before the car had even been unveiled.
One of Tesla’s biggest selling points? Its autonomous driving capability.
According to the study, 92% of participants believed that at least some aspect of their driving experience would become autonomous in the next 10 years. 21% believed that over half of their driving experience would be taken over by the car in that time. That is, if we even need to be driving by then.
Dispatch, an autonomous delivery startup, is already delivering packages door-to-door at college campuses.
We are undeniably heading in a more autonomous direction. Our lives are being changed by these technologies, and while many of us will still want to go to the grocery store to pick out the right oranges ourselves, the shopper standing next to us doing the same with the avocados may soon be a robot.