There is an omnipresent drive to cut costs on the seller's side, so eliminating an expensive, human-powered service is always desirable. Keeping the customer happy is also a grudging desire. These two come together to yield an effort for computer systems to be more usable and more intelligent.
Replacing the human action is not enough: you need to replace the utility of human-interaction. For example, self-scanning automation is OK in supermarkets, because I don't need to deal with a human when in a hurry, but I am not as skilled as the human at that particular task and don’t have the grocery store domain knowledge. Securely identifying the products I'm buying and my personal accounts would allow me to just walk out of the store. Now human check-out laborers are eliminated AND service is better.
For an example of replacing a human poorly, look towards CMU and my least favorite project here: the roboceptionist. What a waste of time.