Why An Investment in Technology is REALLY an Investment in People

One of the big misconceptions today is that technology is going to take the place of humans. I’ll be the first to say, this is completely FALSE. What advancements in technology will do is make people more effective, by allowing them to focus on things that technology can’t do, as well as being more nimble by accelerating previously lengthy or arduous tasks. In this blog, I’ll show why investing in technology is making people more effective in our day to day lives, by unleashing us to do what we do best!

What About AI?

Let’s first address the elephant in the room, which is what about AI (artificial intelligence)? Doesn’t this by definition mean that machines are going to take the place of humans? The answer is a resounding NO. AI, by definition, is the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior, however true value is derived from subject matter experts and workplace veterans synthesizing AI outputs into true intelligence based on qualitative, asynchronous variables and experience.

Technology Saves Us Time:

By embracing technology, we are saving ourselves precious time to allocate towards other more important tasks. Collaboration efficiencies made possible through cloud-based applications where teams can work together in real-time is a great departure from notes dictated and waterfall workflows. It’s funny that today simply leaving a voicemail can be perceived as a breach in etiquette. As more teams embrace tools such as Slack and pervasively adopt CRM tools, we’ll be more efficient in conducting key tasks, while being able to connect with others on the fly.

What Makes People Unique?

As we discussed above, there are big advantages for adopting new technology, however there are reasons why even the best and most cutting-edge software will never replace people. Here are five behaviors that cannot be replicated in the same way by a machine:

  1. Creativity- “Hey Alexa, write me a song that will top the Billboard top 100”… crickets, right? Technology can’t hold a candle to humans when it comes to creativity. Whether you’re a welder, teacher or musician, being creative has become an essential part of our lives. Having an imagination is why we can come up with better and easier ways of doing our work. It’s what takes good to great.
  2. Non-routine work- Technology is great when it’s assigned a narrow task and has a large data set to work with, however what happens when a wrench gets thrown your way. The ability to improvise is one of the most important behaviors that humans possess. It’s not only important to be effective in your personal life or at your job, but there are also serious safety risks if you cannot make quick decisions on your feet. Unexpected situations happen every day, and we must be ready to react. When was the last time your day went exactly as planned?
  3. Strategy- A new software doesn’t have the reasoning, experience or complex understanding that goes into developing a winning strategy. While data analytics can be used as an important resource to inform a strategy, a machine cannot factor one’s unique experiences or make necessary inferences to properly weigh realistic outcomes. Using technology can get us part of the way to building a plan, however it’s the human element that will pull it together and take it over the top.
  4. Empathy- Part of what makes us human is being able to feel for one another. If it wasn’t for human empathy we would live in a very, very cold world. “I’ve never had a bad day in my life,” said no one ever! Sometimes just listening to someone else’s problem can be what lifts them up or motivates them to break out of a rut. I’ve never met a software that could motivate others around them.
  5. Humor- When was the last time a computer made you laugh hysterically? While Elon Musk may very well be a funny guy, Telsa’s autopilot hasn’t sniffed the podium of NBC’s Last Comic Standing. Having a sense of humor is important to creating an inspired and fun environment, not only in the workplace, but also in our daily lives. Humor has been proven to not only boost relationships, but also increase productivity.
Embracing Technology is Your Ticket to Success:

Adopting new technology, enabling humans to do what they do best, will always result in a more productive outcome. Leaders of our time are not only adopting new technology, but are infusing it in ways that empower teams to shine. So the next time you are challenged with taking on new technology, instead of holding tightly to the status quo, begin to think about how said technology can play to your strengths, and what more you can accomplish if you had an extra hour back in your day.
Ultimately, I embrace technology because I’m not scared of it. There’s too much in life that I do better.

Ross Miller
Head of Marketing
ENGAGE