The Associated Press had an article describing a Connecticut supermarket chain's experiment with automatic checkout lanes. The chain, Big Y, has decided to phase them out. Read it here.
"… only 16 percent of supermarket transactions in 2010 were done at self-checkout lanes in stores that provided the option. That's down from a high of 22 percent three years ago."
"… found delays in its self-service lines caused by customer confusion over coupons, payments and other problems; intentional and accidental theft, including misidentifying produce and baked goods as less-expensive varieties; and other problems that helped guide its decision to bag the self-serve lanes."
"Another chain, Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons LLC, has said it's phasing out self-service lanes"
"Home Depot and some other businesses, which cater to customers with a do-it-yourself mentality, report success with their self-serve lanes."
"If he hadn't seen the clerk standing there immediately ready to help, he said, he would have used the traditional lanes …"
This experiment mirrors what has been happening with education technology like MOOCs. Self-starters and autodidacts love it, which would seem to follow the typical technology adoption cycle, but then no one follows the early adopters. The only way the technology consistently works is with a person standing by which of course is antithetical to the purpose of the technology: to replace cashiers.
If technology cannot replace cashiers, why should it be able to replace teachers?
I'm an entrepreneur and I teach math, history, economics, and fitness. I'm looking for arguments.