Having a computer take over as many of the boring pre-flight checks as it has instrumentation to perform is likely to increase safety. A computer will do the same thing over and over again with almost 100% reliability.
I disagree. The computer will only process the data it is given - so it won't be able to do the sanity checks that a pilot can, because the pilot has additional information (e.g. he can stand at the door and watch the SLC do its stuff). The computer just doesn't have that data - so if there is an error of data entry, it is likely to go unnoticed. This can only reduce flight safety.
I agree about actually flying the plane
The nen-route section of the flight is the one place I am perfectly happy for the computers to do the work - as long as the pilots keep an effective watch and have the option to switch off the AP.