Good article. What Starbucks tells us about automation and the future of jobs.
A Starbucks barista isn’t just doing a job that could be automated in the future. We’ve known how to build vending machines for coffee for decades, and with a bit of effort they could probably automate the sale of pastries too. Starbucks could lay off all of its baristas and make its stores fully automated.
But Starbucks isn’t going to do that because they know customers aren’t just coming for the coffee. The ritual of ordering coffee and having a human being prepare it is an integral part of the Starbucks experience.