Humanoid Machines or Mechanized Humans

We want humans to behave more and more like machines and on the other hand, we want machines to behave more and more like humans.

The other day I was talking to a few friends from the retail business. They were mentioning the importance of processes and systems. It made life easier for the team on the shop floor and catered to nearly all situations. When one of their wives very innocently asked – ‘ But what about the human touch ?’.

Across all businesses, we have been making efforts to streamline and remove variables arising out of the ‘humanness’ of service. The motto seems to be the same service wherever you go.

I was flipping through the pages of the newsletter from the robotics department of a large university and the objective was to humanize the robots. Loads of time and energy have gone into research across many educational and research establishments. Imagine a machine that behaved just like a human!

What a strange conundrum!

We want humans to behave more and more like machines and on the other hand, we want machines to behave more and more like humans.

Individually, each example I had mentioned earlier, seemed relevant and necessary but when the twain meets (and seems a possibility) it will present to us – the next conundrum. Whom do we choose or do we go back to where we started?

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