The claims that AI, Robotics, technology etc. will replace the humble human being have existed for quite a long time. However, it's 2017 and I feel that the role of humans is as strong as ever.
Machine learning can allow a robot to become more efficient, faster and more reliable than a human being at certain tasks. Computer programmes can crunch numbers, run algorithms and make probability-based decisions faster than any human being. With recent news of the Japanese insurance firm, Fukuko Mutual, getting rid of 34 jobs in favour of an AI system and Bridgewater Associates (see below) developing an AI programme to take the majority of the tough financial decisions, it is easy to think that we humans are fast becoming dispensable.
How then can we prolong our own importance faced with an opponent whose might doubles every 2 years?
Well, I believe it is quite simple. Whilst technological progression continues, enhancing our lives and dazzling us in equal measure, we sometimes forget the importance of the human touch.
I am always going to want to communicate with a human - when I buy my milk in the morning, I want to interact with another person and share a bad joke; when I begrudgingly phone a call centre, I want to chat with another human being who can show some compassion. No medical robot will every put me at ease like the calm wisdom of a trained doctor. The list goes on.
In my humble opinion, some things will always remain inimitable and I believe being human is one of them. We humans should then focus on what we are good at and how we can maximise our utility in a changing economy. How can we communicate better with our friends, colleagues or even business prospects?
It is this human-to-human communication, compassion and emotional intelligence which makes us unique. In the business world, one person buys from another because of the relationship they develop over time. It is, thus, critically important that we do not get lost behind the myriad of attractive technologies which try to imitate our behaviours and traits and focus on what we are good at: being unique and building connections all around us, to ensure our own long-term advantage.
The world’s largest hedge fund is building a piece of software to automate the day-to-day management of the firm, including hiring, firing and other strategic decision-making. Bridgewater Associates has a team of software engineers working on the project at the request of billionaire founder Ray Dalio, who wants to ensure the company can run according to his vision even when he’s not there, the Wall Street Journal reported.