Recent years have been characterised by an unprecedented rise in disruptive technologies. Given this trend, it will not be wrong to state that technology is the future. However, this recent wave of technologies has created a notion that technological advancements are capable of replicating human interactions. In fact, there is currently a global movement centred around concerns that technology could replace humans, particularly in the job market. Many discussions at the upcoming GITEX 2022 will also be hinged on how the world can navigate technological expansion in the coming years.
In a 2021 survey, many respondents were convinced that technology could replicate their current jobs. However, these beliefs might be misconceived.
Can Technology Really Replace Human Interactions?
Technology has made huge advancements over the past decade. Artificial intelligence has exceeded expectations by replicating human functions in commerce and law. The World Economic Forum has also reported that artificial intelligence will replace over 85 million jobs in the next four years. However, while these figures may seem disturbing, they do not paint the complete picture.
While technology will inevitably replicate human functions in certain areas, there are other areas where artificial intelligence will largely be unable to displace humans. This is due to some reasons.
The Need for Human Intellect:
Despite the numerous capabilities of technology, its utility is primarily limited to core technical functions. Essentially, technology has remained lacking in tasks that require the application of human intellect or the infusion of vital elements like emotional intelligence. For instance, technology has successfully replicated technical legal tasks like legal research, contract review, and case analysis. However, technology can hardly replace more sentimental tasks like negotiation and the presentation of legal arguments. This is because these functions require creativity, emotional intelligence and human intellect that technology cannot replicate.
Many companies have sought to automate core customer-facing functions. Most have adopted chatbots and automated hotlines to resolve customer complaints. However, while this strategy has proven helpful for companies seeking to cut their labour force and free up costs, consumers are demanding more. A 2018 research by PWC found that the human touch significantly improves customer experience for most consumers. A year after PWC’s research, a CGS survey found that over 85% of consumers prefer interacting with humans as opposed to chatbots. These figures show that irrespective of technology’s displacement, companies have realised that consumers still prefer human interactions. Thus, a complete technological replacement will likely be impractical.
Technology is Largely Created to Augment, and not Entirely Replace:
While technology has the potential to replace, its purpose is primarily to augment human functions and pave the way for more critical tasks. This is why many companies mainly utilise technology for mundane tasks. For instance, while technology is set to replace over 80 million jobs, it will equally create about 97 million jobs. Essentially, technology is mainly integrated to enhance human interactions.
Ultimately, while technology cannot wholly replace human interactions, it has the potential to completely reshape demands in many areas, particularly the job market. Thus, humans must constantly upskill to catch up to these trends. Luckily, GITEX 2022 is has an extensive line-up of panel discussions on how humans can be more resilient amid rapid automation. To book a pass for GITEX 2022, click here.