Technology is the biggest enabler and the worst alibi to people connect today. Digital solutions are getting more intuitive and comprehensive, taking a lot of inconvenience and time delays away. Machine learning, Artificial Intelligence and smart analytics have enabled a lot of predictive possibilities while bringing in unparalleled levels of transparency and accountability in various systems.
Connects across the world, real time communication and breaking historical silos have become so much easier. It augurs well for an interconnected world with greater power and ownership over the world a human being lives and works in today.
However, that is where the good news ends. While the opportunity for connect has multiplied, the “conditions apply” fine print must not be ignored.
Has technology made us more insular and indifferent? How well is the compromise on the basic human need of emotional touch? While transactional efficiencies bring in relief and smiles but technology must ensure that time is released on deeper emotional conversations. How well does that lend itself to greater trust in the workplace, more natural collaboration, better creativity and most important a happier and a more successful workplace?
The opportunity for technology is not in more humanoid responses or chat bots, though some great moves are happening in the area. People, if that is what most inhabitants on the earth will continue to be, will need to be happier and more fulfilled. When the worries of jobless growth are occupying the minds of the policy makers across the world, the need is to ensure that hightouch; real-time is not about creating more loneliness. It should help bridge people and people, opportunities with need, reduce disparity and look at a more balanced human development. Technology brings many possibilities, only if harnessed right to uplift workplaces and society at large.
The challenge is of not throwing the baby out with the bath water. Technology must enable the true touch, not the artificial one. We would have otherwise solved one problem, but created a bigger one. Workplace depression is a growing nightmare. Technology must not worsen the depersonalization but enable the world to be a more empathetic and joyful place. I would hate to see us win the technology war only to lose our touch. The victory then would be Pyrrhic.