Are We Losing The Human Touch?
When we say “augment”, we mean to make something better or greater by adding to it. This should apply when we say that technology should be augmenting human skills.
The human race designed and created every technological advancements — be it a simple tool invention, or complex gadget — to augment our limitations as humans.
Tools during the stone age augmented our hands so we can build faster, bigger, better, and more things. Boats, cars, planes, and other modes of transportation (including space shuttles) augmented the limitations of distance humans can travel. The telephone (and now we have VOIP), radio, and television augmented the limitations of human communications. In short, all technological advances throughout history made humans better and greater than our natural limitations.
LOSING THE HUMAN TOUCH
Yet, with all the technologies around us today, the human angle got lost in time. We began chasing advancements for the sake of technology rather than for the sake of human need. In the future, everything we invent will augment not just our human skills but our human bodies as well.
Robots replacing humans in manufacturing industry may be acceptable. But using robots in retail and customer service may be not. That kind of technology loses its human touch. Alexa and Siri are examples of today’s technology that may sound and look cool. But even if they sound like humans, other people may not like the idea of talking to them for an advice of what to buy.
Even the way we use the Internet, there are so many bots that some of them intrude in the way we communicate. No wonder, we have CAPTCHA just to prove ourselves that we are humans. Do we really need to do that?
We often get caught up with technology itself and may have lost sight of the basic human needs. We put the word “smart” and use it as prefix in all things — smartphones, smart TV, smartwatch, smarthouse… wait, what?!
We hope that technology can still fade into the background. We can still do more with technology but we should be spending more of our time at work, play, or vacation. Let’s spend less time in fidgeting with technology that they overcome us in the process.