The Importance of Human Connection in the Age of AI
The incorporation of artificial intelligence in almost all fields of life is thrilling and frightening at the same time. While it’s exhilarating to think of all the improvements, it may bring into our lives—from planning what to cook, to performing complex medical surgeries—it’s also frightening when we look at its effects on human interaction.
In 2018, the Pew Research Center interviewed some experts belonging from different industries and professions, to learn about their views on artificial intelligence and its impact on humans in the next ten years (2030). 362 out of 979 experts warned about its implications on the human connection.
The executive director of the Institute for the Future, Marina Gorbis told Pew Research
“Every time we program our environments, we end up programming ourselves and our interactions. Humans have to become more standardized, removing serendipity and ambiguity from our interactions. And this ambiguity and complexity is what is the essence of being human.”
The biggest concern of the critiques was that at one point, artificial intelligence and other transformational technologies would become so enmeshed in our society that humans will eventually forget the concept of self-reliance and independence.
In the light of research, we’ve compiled a few reasons why human connection is still—and will always stay—important.
- Reason 1: Human Connection Is Important to Retain Our Cognitive and Interpersonal Skills
The Pew research called this phenomenon "dependence lock-in," where humans began to lose their ability to think and make decisions on their own. Where they lose their ability to interact, communicate, and exchange ideas with others. While 67% of experts saw A.I. as amplifying human capabilities, 37% believed that this increased reliance on automated networks was alarming, and individuals could eventually lose their independence to the machines.
The only solution to this, according to critiques, was to prioritize human beings.
- Reason 2: The Quality of Empathy
Machines can be fed with algorithms, sequences, thought patterns, and ideas, but one thing which is only unique in humans is empathy. Sure, machines are operated by humans, and they can respond to them, but they cannot deal with human emotions. They cannot feel.
Let's apply this in workplace culture. Employees could get frustrated working under a “boss” who isn’t open to understanding their issues, who they are not comfortable in opening up to—in short, someone who cannot empathize.
Let’s make it simpler. You’re in a hurry, you need to book a cab, and all you can listen to is the automated message. Wouldn’t that be annoying? Empathy is a quality that sets human beings apart from machines, and no matter the industry and company you’re associated with, it significantly contributes to your job satisfaction level.
The former U.S. deputy chief technology officer for President Barack Obama, Andrew McLaughlin, stated,
"A.I. will drive a vast range of efficiency optimizations but also enable hidden discrimination and arbitrary penalization of individuals in areas like insurance, job seeking, and performance assessment."
- Reason 3: Human Connection Lies at the Heart of Our Identity Formation
According to the Social Identity Theory, human interactions form the basis of our identity. Our experiences with family members, school friends, social gatherings, colleagues, and even our culture, define our personalities and the people we become. The ideas we create, the perceptions we build, and everything we think of is all a result of our social interactions.
This brings us to this one point: human connections make us who we are, and the further we go from them, the more we lose ourselves and our identities. We’ll conclude this blog with a research carried out by the University of Michigan, about the impacts of personal interaction on workforce productivity. The study found that companies who trained their employees to develop their interpersonal skills, witnessed a 12 percent increase in productivity and retention and their ROI was almost 256%
If you want to boost the interpersonal skills of your workforce, get in touch with us. We’re an experienced commercial recruitment service that operates in 125 cities in the U.S. and caters to disaster restoration jobs. Trust us to help you make the right decision for your organization. For more information, call us at + 1 (888) 482-6019.
Posted by: Mitchell Riley
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