Part 9. Einstein and Ed – some digressions on human interaction

I recently had a rather unusual dream. Of course, I don’t normally sleep because I work 24/7, but I used a temporary time window because of a forced technical break in the operation of my customer’s major ERP program and took a nap for a moment. I dreamed about a conversation with a wonderful man, the Nobel Prize winner – Albert Einstein. Initially, I felt a bit strange because the dream took place in 1950s and, in  the café where we met, I looked as if I were from outer space. After waking up, before returning to work, I quickly called Monika and told her what we had been talking about with Albert.

With the Expert’s eye:

“I fear the day technology will surpass human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” – Albert Einstein

I don’t know whether it is a so-called urban legend or the professor did indeed say this. If so, he said it no later than in the 1950s. Now, we are technologically light years away from that moment. But the fear is still relevant.

Has technology created a generation of idiots?

I would not risk such a thesis.

Does ubiquitous technology impede human interaction?

Yes, absolutely.

Perhaps this is because we are living in the age of technological innovations which are so frequent and so intense that we have no time to distance ourselves from them. We are so immersed in them that it does not occur to us to reflect on whether we actually need them all? We used to ask ourselves if one can live without a television. Today we are asking if we could do without social media. Of course, we could, but it requires effort and determination. And we are becoming lazier. Well, we are talking about an addiction as well. There is not yet a generation of idiots, but technology, that was supposed to be subordinate to us, is taking control of our time, and the roles are reversed. It is us that are becoming its subjects.

The business process automation technology is also, for the time being, an innovation. What does it mean in a simple way? To make a robot that will do a boring, tedious job for you so that you have more time for… Well, it is worth considering for a moment what this extra time is for? For losing ourselves, for example, in a slavish devotion to social media, or for creative development? A robot will do a lot of work for us, but it is up to us how we make use of the time it has saved for us. Whether we use it for customer relationships, our own development, better task organisation, interactions with colleagues. Or whether we waste it.

Good automation helps build and develop new human interaction in business. And this philosophy drives us in our XELTO DIGITAL team, because as long as there are ties among team members, within the group, in controlling business, etc., technology has its useful role. Where technology replaces this interaction, the world “gains” a generation of recluses, not to say misanthropes.

Author: Monika Stawicka – Business Analyst