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The Human Approach to Technology
The recipe for building a successful tech company has been the automatization of every process. Silicon Valley has idolized the automatization of human contact. How many have had a friendly talk with customer service at Google, Facebook/Meta or Twitter?
If server parks and software can perform every aspect of contact with users, the company is rigged for an exponential growth. Human behavior is fragmented into ingredients for aggregated algorithms. Patterns are read into trends, addiction replaces social interaction, and the purpose of software is changed from understanding customers to influencing them.
The tools of the tech industry are just that—tools. Just as steel can be used for hospital beds or guns, you can use algorithms to breed frustration and polarization or to support compassion and tolerance. Tools have no purpose, but tool-users do. Tools only intensify their owner’s power. The rise of the technology sector has amplified the influence of a very few and changed the lives of very many. What will be the next generation of interaction between technology and people? Some are trying to connect computers directly to the brain? Is that all right? What other ways should we explore?
Can we shield technology with a layer of human interaction? Can we add a component of emotional, visual, and social elements to improve user experience?
What is the most efficient way to deploy capital to enhance the lives of the world’s people? If you want financial returns only, then perhaps you should leave all power to the algorithms. If you pursue an inclusive connection, perhaps it helps to have people involved with technology.
In the challenges we attempt to tackle, we combine technology with people, and on-the-ground solutions. It may not be the fastest way to scale, but it’s the most humane.