The Limits to a Robotic World

 

Technology rules and anything that can be is being automated. Technology is capable of doing any task that is repetitive more reliably and at lower cost than humans can. For example, robots will increasingly be doing the repetitive assembling of the manufactured products. However, in the field of human services, automation has its limits. Using technology to respond to every individual human need or desire would seem beyond impossible. Yet every company, every organization providing human services seems intent on automating the process. An automated voice answers the telephone. It gives you a list of options that don’t fit your needs. You push buttons and it continuous to give you options that don’t fit your needs. You are in a loop you can only get out of by giving up. The web page sends you chasing after an answer that after an hour or two of frustration you finally give up. You want the process to be tweaked a little to meet your special needs. A computer can’t do that.

Human service requires patience, understanding unintelligible questions, making exceptions to the rules, making adjustments, making the customer feel good when you can’t help them. Computers can’t and never will be able to do this.

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