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Driving Technology Forward: A focus on the human touch

  Oct 5, 2018

Man-machine collaboration

The fourth industrial revolution is here, machine learning, the internet of things and artificial intelligence (AI) are set to supercharge productivity and efficiencies across the industry. These enhancements will give rise to new levels of abundance that will fundamentally change the way we live and consume information. Many fear that intelligent automation, brought on by AI, will lead to large-scale unemployment and a tiny ruling elite. When machines take over the world most people are left worried about their future.

Strathmore Business School in collaboration with Cognizant held a knowledge session themed, Learning to Love the Future of Work on 26th September 2018. The panel included; Sunny Bindra-  Kenya’s renowned management consultant, writer, educator and public speaker, Euan Davis- Associate Vice President, Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work, EMEA and Michael Cook- Senior Manager, Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work, EMEA.

Machines need man. The growing application of AI technology to automate tasks also means IT leaders must take into consideration what jobs will be lost, what jobs will be created, and how staff will collaborate and get work done.  Robots cannot; consider the feelings of the other person, establish trust with a person, the way another person can establish trust nor be a critical thinker. AI will also bring new job opportunities from developing and testing these machines to support, maintenance, and programming, these devices will not be able to function without constant attention from human beings. The future is about blending humans with technology, they should be the brains behind the technology we depend on.

The session brought out the 3Cs that speak the universal truth that no matter how technological our age becomes we want technology to help us as a tool. They are: Coaching- helping people get better at things. E.g. managing their finances. Caring- improving people’s health and wellness, affordable global medical care, trained nurses. Connecting- man and machine, traditional and shadow IT the physical and the virtual commerce with ethics.

Technology will upgrade all aspects of society. Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to ease efficiency of records in hospitals allowing for faster information transfers and more integrated and efficient care. Telemedicine, in rural areas where access to hospitals and other health-related services are lacking, patients can use their computer to meet virtually with a doctor. Remote Monitoring Tools where patients monitor their health at home and can save money and reduce unnecessary visits to the doctor’s office.

The panel noted that it was important for schools to always update their curriculum. For instance, in higher education, it is important to update the curriculum to preserve the country’s national identity and to ensure its economy’s growth and stability. AI plays a crucial role in grading, creating programs and other areas of education. The next generation of leaders should help drive technology forward, as an institution of higher learning, Strathmore University equips its students for the technological market of the future through its programmes.

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