Why Technology Can’t Replace the Human Experience
By DBOS | Feb 05, 2021
There are growing concerns and fear that technological advancements like AI, robot machines, and more will replace the role of humans in the workplace. So, to prevent this, employees need to upskill and reskill to remain relevant in the market.
But will technology overcome humans? Technology may be good, but it is not going to replace human experience, values, and judgement any time soon, and here are some reasons why.
- Speed Is Not Intellect
One of the thought processes driving the belief that technology will overtake human intelligence comes from the visible and predicted increase in computing capabilities. However, speed does not necessarily equate to human intelligence and intuitiveness.
Humans created technology, which means human intelligence supersedes that of the products of its technology like robots. For example, advanced tech can decide things much faster than humans. Let’s say you want to fill a Google questionnaire, your answer will be recorded faster compared to if it was traditional checks. But this is where their processing ability stops. Only humans can take further process on the answer in your questionnaire.
Technology may provide the intelligence needed to make decisions based on knowledge against a set of objectives, however, it’s the desire and ability to choose those criteria based on a value set learned from experience and empathy that differentiates humans from technology.
- Values Are Not Data But Experience
We make choices based on preferences. But with automation technology, choices are based on data and systems. It’s futile to describe the human world through a logical combination of data, programs, and atomic facts.
For example, a human being’s values may be contradictory. While you love eating meat, you don’t like the slaughtering part. This value system cannot be recreated through technology. Technology can only complement humans, but it cannot wholly replace the human value.
- Technology Lacks Understanding of Irrational Thought
Building on the last point, technology operates on mindless logic. While it is logical, humans don’t always work like that. So using a rational entity to do the work of an irrational one is asking for trouble.
For example, chatbots, which have become prevalent today. They are programmed to answer questions by following a set of pre-programmed clues. That’s good but when people interact with chatbots, sometimes they want that emotional understanding and connection over logical and rational answers. They want empathy, and understanding of their feelings and that they are justified to feel in a certain way.
The smartest AI is incapable of doing that, and even if they do, it is impossible to be so convincing as it can be with a human. From a customer satisfaction perspective, it may not be the best idea to completely replace humans with AI technology.
This is why many companies who want to establish tangible connections with customers but cannot provide in-house human customer service forgo chatbots and go the offshore customer support route and are better for it.
- Judgments Come From Values, Not Artificial Life
A wholly artificial company will provide artificial experiences, which creates artificial values. As earlier discussed, technology bases decisions on data and these decisions made are not the same with judgements.
On the contrary, human judgments are based on values and values come from our experiences. However, technology is yet to experience the life of a human and humanity. For example, humans have been suffering through the recent pandemic and economic recession. This made people to start improving on themselves and creating more business values.
AI tech, on the other hand, has no experience of the past or the present and cannot factor all of that into its decision-making process. If technology does produce robots and machines with human-like behaviours, this may endanger the human race, which once again points to the futility of such tech.
5. Technology Cannot Solve Problems Creatively
One of the special things about humans is the ability to think and provide creative solutions to problems. This imaginative capability is not something robots have, which means they are incapable of anything requiring creative thinking though. Of course, it can be argued that robots are fantastic at dull, repetitive tasks.
In fact, they are better at this than any human, since one of the most desired skills in mass production is machine-level consistency and the lack of feelings of tiredness or boredom. However, humans make up for this in creativity and this is not something that can be programmed into logic-based boards.
Technology advances relentlessly forward, and it would be unwise to argue otherwise. Some things remain significant, and people-to-people interaction and communication will continue to be one of them. Just because the tech is available and convenient, doesn’t mean it’s the best option in every situation.