On my way back from Singapore a few weeks ago, I had the chance to watch an interesting TED Talk about robots taking human jobs. It got me thinking: What would happen if robots and machines took over? Would they take every job imaginable, or just take over a few industries? Will your job become obsolete as machine learning and artificial intelligence continue to ebb into even the most mundane tasks of our daily lives?
My perspective is that machines and robots will make our lives easier, but not take everyone’s jobs. The questions that stand are: Where will people who’ve lost their jobs to machines work? Can robots do everything humans can do, but better?
iPrefer: The human touch combined with technology offers an outstanding CX
While in Singapore, I went to a sushi restaurant with my team. Although there were restaurant employees walking around, iPads were on every table. The host who seated us gave us all physical menus, but we had to order via the iPad, similar to one of the options Panera Bread offers in the United States. The primary difference between the sushi restaurant and Panera is that ordering via the iPad was the only option in the restaurant, while at Panera you can order either at the register or via the iPad.
In the sushi restaurant, the iPad took the job of a human waiter. While this could happen throughout the restaurant industry to save costs, many people prefer to have waitstaff available to answer questions or make special requests. I like having a person to talk to, especially at sit-down restaurants like this one.
iPads can make for convenient ordering when customers expect a quick and reliable visit, while iPads complemented with waitstaff at restaurants where the dining experience takes longer can facilitate an outstanding and personalized experience.
I, Robot versus reality
Although not mainstream yet, driverless cars are becoming more and more common. These autonomous cars could eliminate the jobs of bus drivers, taxi drivers, and now Uber and Lyft drivers. In theory, they could also help address safety and traffic issues. While this trend is further down the road, it could be advantageous to begin robotic skills training in schools so programming vehicles would be taught along with other essential knowledge.
I believe robots and machines will make our lives easier, but can never replace the human element necessary to make an experience outstanding. Even the most realistic robots couldn’t offer the same human connection as an actual person.
Though machine learning is growing by leaps and bounds, machines still struggle to recognize and correctly process human emotion. When it comes to battling machines for our jobs, it might just turn out that our humanity is the most powerful weapon that we possess.
As artificial intelligence takes hold, the organizations that gain a competitive edge will be those that best leverage The Human Angle.