Work for the machines? Not if I can help it

This article in Wired describes what happens when the QS (quantified self) movement meets workflow automation. I'm about to launch a survey on marketing automation and this idea is very relevant. As in, if you're not working for the machines now, you will be soon.

Emissary from SkyNetIn a way it's more insidious than SkyNet - at least you can blow up SkyNet, or you could if it weren't distributed.

We were talking about this last night at a professional meeting, though not exactly in these terms. You go to a website. A box pops up and asks if you found what you're looking for. If you say no, it tries to get you to chat with customer service. If you say yes, it sends you to Amazon or Yelp and tries to get you to leave a positive review.

As a customer, you end up feeling manipulated, violated and turned off.  Just because you can automate something doesn't mean you should. Especially when you're talking to people with choices, people you don't want to alienate, like customers.

If it's employees that you're manipulating, you've got more power. But that still doesn't mean it's a good idea. The effects may not be visible in the short term. Employees will grit their teeth and go through the motions. But when the revolution comes, you know where the guns will be aimed.