Its interesting to note if people actually want human interaction or not?
Sometimes I do and sometimes I dont; and if I get a better deal via self service, when I am watching the pennies then maybe I can be tempted to use the automated systems. Afterall I do now at Tesco, B&Q and Ryanair so why not at a hotel?
Maybe people want the option, guess you need to know your market
People still do want the option of talking to a person - but will increasingly choose to manage without it. Those hotels which bite the bullet and say to their guests (as some surely will) "You said you didn't want face to face checkout any more so we've done away with it to improve our service to you" will however still suffer the backlash. We all hate being patronised and can tell the difference between opportunistic cost savings and withdrawal of choice in the name of "improvements".
In a similar vein - when we hang up that towel - are we really saving the environment or a point or two of margin?!