The resource article was interesting but I doubt Runescape will go in that direction only. If anything, the way they're doing Distractions and Diversions show that they will offer ways to get resources and skill xp without actually gathering the resources or training the skill. This happens with Penguin Points, Jack of all Trades, Troll Invasion, Tears of Guthix, Manage thy Kingdom, Sandman Bert, Del Monte, Ess, etc. Yeah, you put in a little effort playing the game every day and this really builds up.
Now, it seems the new Player Owned Ports (a skill?) will turn into a super Manage Thy Kingdom where you essentially build up a macro economy. I'm only guessing, but I assume you use money, skill and resources to set up trade routes. I can see the benefits of this right now where the ability to level POP is tied closely to your various skill levels. So that the higher your mining skill is then the higher quality ore you can trade. It's not a RS Bot like the article suggests cause you don't need to have the account active any more than you need to do for MTK. Just take time out of your day to manage the POP to keep the resource routes moving.
If such an idea can work where you've got NPC's gathering your resources on your offtime, why not something similar with training skills when you're logged off? Something like Player Owned Academies. In this area, you travel to a specific academy that'll train your character when you're not using it ie logged off. Similar to POP, you'd require gp, resources and certain skill levels to make the training more efficient. Just like Jack of all Trades, Penguin Points, Guthix, Troll Invasion, etc you get XP in a skill without actually training that skill.
If these work, why not a Player Owned Delivery Network that work like area specific butlers? These are for those that do want to train XP and gather their own resources. Imagine being able to have your ess unnoted at the altars. Or have a runner at the Wilderness mithril and addy rocks. Just like POP and POA's, you're given higher quality delivery NPC's based on your management, skill level, resources, etc.
Point being, if Jagex is looking to remove the grind, then I can see them employing these ideas that were being replicated by the bots. However, instead of it being an uncontrolled mess that bots brought, it's guided and becomes useful as people reach 70+ in levels.