The end of customer service is upon us, portends TIME in their “What’s Next 2008” special. With automated systems and self-service kiosks growing in popularity at movie theaters, hotels, airports, and restaurants (see uWink), it should come as no surprise that many businesses and venues are opting to take the service personnel entirely out of the equation -or at least the customer-facing part. As TIME explains:

Companies love self-service for the money it saves, and with consumers finally playing along, the need to interact with human beings is quickly disappearing.

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