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KINTalk: Staying human(e) in an increasingly automated world

26 August 2021
On Friday 23rd July 2021 we were delighted to welcome Ferry Hoes to our virtual KINTalks stage — an entrepreneur, investor, and co-founder of the Brand Humanizing Institute. Topic of his talk? Staying human(e) in an increasingly automated world.

Ferry and his team at the Brand Humanizing Institute conduct research at the intersect between humans and technology. The aim? To help business leaders in creating a synergy between the two. Below we summarise our top KINTalk takeaways

Be aware of common traps when adopting new technologies. In their research exploring what drives organisations to misuse (or abuse) technology, Ferry and his team interviewed dozens of experts ranging from CEOs to AI experts, marketing experts and venture capitalists — all from different industries. What did they find? Organisations were falling into three common traps:

(1) Focusing too much on the short-term

(2) Overestimating the power of technology

(3) Underestimating human skills

Through identifying these common traps, Ferry and his team worked on proposing a future-proof way of working that they called ‘Brand Humanizing’, which focuses on the synergy between humans and robots in the world of work. Want to know more? Then take a look here.

Don’t put robots in human positions if they aren’t as good at the job. While the implementation of a chatbot may provide a short-term win for an organisation — after all, they can be available 24/7, enable costs to be cut and allow customer service agents to deal with more advanced queries — organisations should ensure that they are at least as good, if not better, than the actual humans in those positions. Don’t underestimate the power of people and the frustration of consumers when a robot cannot fulfil their needs. No customer appreciates being in an infinite loop of ‘I’m sorry, I don’t understand’ with a robot when all they want is for their problem to be solved — something Ferry experienced himself — take a peek at his personal chatbot chronicle here.

Recognise that humans and robots have different skills. How can we prevent robots being in positions to which they aren’t suited? First and foremost, by recognizing what robots and humans excel at respectively. Robots are great at doing repetitive, monotonous tasks, dealing with large volumes of data, making calculations and predictions, and simply never stopping. However, what they are not so good at is building relationships, dealing with emotions, managing people, storytelling, creativity — which is where us humans come in. As such, organisations should focus on identifying processes that can be automated or augmented by robots, so that human resources can be better allocated. Robots should be used to unleash human potential, not thwart it. But it is not just organisations who can take action. Individuals can equally start developing skills where technology is (and potentially will always be) inferior. Ferry has even listed 7 future-proof qualities which humans should strengthen to gain an edge in the (near) future — check out his blogpost here.

And there we have it. Our thanks once again go to Ferry for a truly insightful KINTalk encouraging organisations to stay human(e) in an increasingly automated world.

Author: Lorna Downie

Stay tuned!

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More informatie about KINTalks? Take a look here!