Opinion | Can tech and humans love each other? | Michelle Crawford

There is an enormous amount of fear, suspicion and plain trepidation about the role of technology in the workplace. 

There are individuals with strong views who believe that technological advances in the workplace equal no jobs for humans. 

There are others who think that the technology of the future is just that – of the future. That it will never impinge on their world, so why think about it? Plus the future is such a long way away.

As our brand is Being More Human it is probably relevant to ask what we think about tech. We love to bring the best of all worlds into a world that we can create and have an impact on humanity.

A high-tech world can encourage humans to become better versions of themselves. There are some things that tech does exceptionally well, such as routine, repetitive tasks. The things that humans do exceptionally well are those which are more difficult for tech, such as visioning, strategy, empathy, caring, kindness.

Even though much of the new tech is designed to connect us, it does so at a superficial level. Higher levels of human disconnection creates a yearning for more authentic connection. Authentic connection requires the basic skills of being a great human, connecting, listening, questioning. 

If we take “technology is going to take over our jobs” to the obvious extreme, that means we all have no job. If we all have no job, that means we have more time and energy to focus on what is meaningful and purpose focused in our lives. More time and energy is what we all want, and it is why tech was created. More tech. More time. More energy.

In a world where technology has taken over, we can be sure that it will also include fewer labour-intensive, but more flexible ways for each of us to earn a living. If we don’t have to work in the way we know now, it is very possible that our new world of work will provide more time and opportunity for us to connect as humans.

If that means we all end up not working and collectively end up living, that is a pretty attractive outcome.

The key is to ensure that technology evolves in a way that contributes to the greater good.

Why wouldn’t we embrace the chance to have a say in ethical uses of technology and its application so that it works for our fundamental human needs first and foremost?

Michelle Crawford is the founder of Newcastle-based human resources firm Being More Human