New York Times has published recently an article about various unexpected effects of automation. The way I see it the whole thing can be boiled down to:
At the same time, the American work force has gained skills at a slower rate than in the past — and at a slower rate than in many other countries. Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 are among the most skilled in the world, according to a recent report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Younger Americans are closer to average among the residents of rich countries, and below average by some measures.”
The point is that ‘classic’ automation freed the individual from the repetitive chores that transformed man into a machinery, as depicted by Chaplin in ‘Modern Times’, and allowed him to pursue more challenging/interesting ways to ‘make ends meet’. The current phenomenon turns the tide in exactly the opposite direction, demeaning the individual to the role of a ‘servant’ for the almighty machine. That’s why people become less and less skillful and, even worse, less and less proud about what they do for a living.