Excursions by Amit Gawande

When do I want Automation?

Derek Sivers recently wrote about how he does not prefer using automation for things that he would better do himself. Or he enjoys doing manually. According to Derek, the decision of whether one wants automation or not comes down to is this.

how much of an expert you are at controlling this thing yourself, how much you still enjoy doing it, if you want the kind of assistance it provides

I believe there is one more aspect that drives this decision for me - how convenient will the automation make my life after all? And what is the the cost associated with automating that?

The price one pays might be in terms of the personal data he or she needs to relinquish. This is relevant primarily when the automation workflows are built and served ready-made by the companies. For example, as part of various functions of the smart assistants.

It can also be in terms of the actual time one has to put in to build the overall automation workflow. This comes into picture when you are linking multiple applications and services to get a use-case handled. For example, while using Shortcuts or IFTT, Zapier and likes.

In both the cases, whether I want the automation or not is a trade-off between the efficiency I gain due to the automation and the price I have to pay for that.

thoughts
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