Are you self-reliant or do you demand a more human touch? A study conducted by the Food Marketing Institute determined that customers are ditching the self-check-out machines at grocery stores in favor of flesh and blood. Only 16% of transactions were completed at the kiosks in 2010, down from 22% three years ago. "It's just more interactive," one shopper tells the AP, "You get someone who says hello; you get a person to talk to if there's a problem." While computers don't judge you when you stroll up with six cartons of Chubby Hubby and a case of Genesee, conversing with grocery store cashiers DOES count as human contact.

New Yorkers, especially those living in Manhattan, don't see too many of the self-check out machines in grocery stores, but they are in Duane Reade and Fairway. One grocery conglomerate in Connecticut and Massachusetts—Big Y Foods—is beginning to phase them out due to "delays…customer confusion over coupons," and "intentional and accidental theft." We know a friend who used to steal food from southern chain Harris Teeter by scanning heavy items along with light items and placing both in the bag simultaneously.

One professor of food marketing is more cautious about declaring the impending death of self-serve checkout machines: "I don't think this is as much a referendum on the technology as it is a match between the technology and the customer base." But that "customer base" is going to be obese by 2030, at which point we'll need FeedBot, the charming humanoid who changes our potato chip tube and pats our back until we fall asleep.