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What does it mean to be human?

 In Enterprise AI, IT Service Management Blog
By Dan Turchin, Neva Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer. Follow Dan @dturchin.

What does it mean to be human? 

What does it mean to be human when our lives have been digitized? We’re little more than thoughtlets, metadata, and avatars etched for eternity in S3 buckets that are the modern-day equivalent of microfiche. We’ve been reduced to digital exhaust emitted from containers that live for microseconds… and yet we’re more human than ever.

Da Vinci Vitruvian Man

When we relegate what’s easy we’re liberated to practice what’s hard. Researchers at Oxford recently concluded that 47% of jobs are at risk of “computerization”. Those odds aren’t great… unless we turn the existential threat into an opportunity.

From now on, to be the best humans we can be get comfortable reciting this like a mantra: what requires prediction is better left to machines. What requires judgment is better left to us.

To outwit smart machines practice empathy. Practice giving. Practice caring. Knowing the right answer won’t distinguish us in the decades ahead. Knowing where to find it will. Algorithms can teach and learn and interact and compute. But only we know when and why to use them.

Gartner’s Peter Sondergaard estimates that within the next five years half of all analytical interactions will be delivered via artificial intelligence. Find a hobby to consume the other half of your time… or reinvent yourself by finding ways to make the lives of others better. Within two years, technical skills and recall of cyber-jargon will only make it clear how inferior we are to simple machines.

We reinvented ourselves after Gutenberg displaced scribes with his printing press and Watt displaced weavers with his steam engine. We’re resilient out of necessity but creative and collaborative by nature. Artificial intelligence is the call to arms we need to rediscover what it means to be human. Natural language processing and machine learning are finally ready to provide better answers to harder questions.

We started Neva because we’re passionate about using technology to make life better. It’s time for customer support to be excellent. It’s time to shed stigmas about calling the help desk, the reservation hotline, the bank, or pharmacy. It’s time for us to all become human again.

Welcome back. Welcome to Neva.

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