The Blaze reports on the outcome of an analysis of swab wipes from touch screens, taken from eight McDonald’s locations in England. Dr. Paul Matawele of London Metropolitan University’s Microbiology department reported:
“We were all surprised how much gut and fecal bacteria there was on the touch-screen machines. These cause the kind of infections that people pick up in hospitals.” Sarah Taylor, “Disturbing investigation reveals McDonald’s customers may endanger their health using touch screens” at The Blaze
The pathogens included potentially fatal Staphylococcus (the dreaded “Staph” infection that closes hospital wards). Staph is also becoming antibiotic resistant.
I now have another reason to not to use McDonald’s kiosks. More.
Reality check: The basic problem here is that the drive to automate everything eventually meets the Law of Unintended Consequences (there are unintended consequences to every choice made in a complex world). If, for example, the corporation tries to get employees to do things that used to be done by staff, it is delegating the job to people whom they can’t force to wash their hands. The rest follows.
See also: Artificial intelligence, it turns out, can solve any problem. As long as we are not too persnickety about what we consider a solution