Forget E-Voting Problems, Now We Have To Worry About E-Census Problems Too
from the new-technology-isn't-always-good... dept
It looks like the US census is the latest process to be prematurely “automated” under the silly belief that computers automatically do everything better. Reports are coming out about how the new computerized census systems aren’t just costly, they might also be inaccurate (bonus!). The system involves handheld devices for census-takers, but the devices are apparently not that intuitive. Thus there are additional training costs involved, and no one seems keen on paying for that. There are a few options here, including mostly ignoring the new system (which only cost $600 million in taxpayer money) and going back to a more manual process. However, the company that provided the devices insists the complaints are overblown and with just half an hour of training anyone could understand how to use the devices. Either way, it should be a reminder that any attempt to automate a process that uses the “just add technology!” component probably is going to be something of a disaster.