au­gu­mented hu­man­ity

The Smart Manager - - Contents Jan- Feb 2019 - Shekhar Mhaskar is EVP, Iso­bar.

Aug­mented hu­man­ity (AH) is not a novel idea for hu­mans. Case in point, we all rem­i­nisce about how hu­mans com­mu­ni­cated with each other sev­eral decades ago, and how it has evolved with the ap­pli­ca­tion of tech­nol­ogy. Right from Morse code to tele­phones, to mo­biles, and now to bo­tas­sisted chats and AR+VR. These are a few ex­am­ples of aug­men­ta­tion of what hu­mans do in their daily lives. In the years to come, AH will ex­po­nen­tially en­hance hu­man be­hav­ior and ca­pa­bil­ity for bet­ter life, bet­ter health, bet­ter en­ter­tain­ment, bet­ter shop­ping, etc. Here are a few themes to see how the re­la­tion­ship be­tween hu­man­ity and tech­nol­ogy is pro­gress­ing.

evolv­ing in­ter­face

The phys­i­cal layer of in­ter­face will rapidly van­ish with the de­vel­op­ments in voice and gaze, lead­ing to fric­tion­less in­ter­ac­tion and al­most in­stant ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion.

The proof of the pud­ding is in the pop­u­lar­ity and growth of smart speaker tech­nolo­gies such as Alexa and Google Home. Gart­ner Re­search sug­gests that voice-driven search queries will be­come the dom­i­nant search mode for mo­bile users.

Even the re­tail in­ter­face is chang­ing the way we shop with the devel­op­ment in fa­cial, retina, and finger­print recog­ni­tion. The Ama­zon Go store is one such ex­am­ple.

hu­man al­go­rithm

The enor­mous per­sonal data that gets gen­er­ated dur­ing in­ter­ac­tions with tech­nolo­gies such as ma­chine learn­ing and bio­met­ric sys­tems will be used to aug­ment our un­der­stand­ing of our­selves. This is a boon in the well­ness and health­care sec­tors to pro­vide bet­ter ser­vices for health­ier, hap­pier lives.

Fi­nan­cial and in­sur­ance sec­tors can of­fer hy­per­per­son­al­ized ser­vices to con­sumers. Au­tomak­ers too, by us­ing con­nected cars and driv­ing data, can help im­prove per­sonal per­for­mance, ef­fi­ciency and safety as well as up­keep of the ve­hi­cle.

fluid ver­sus the col­lec­tive self

Ev­ery in­di­vid­ual will be spoilt for choice in ev­ery­thing that is con­sumed, since we are now able to choose at the click of a but­ton. We can en­joy per­son­al­ized prod­ucts, ser­vices, and ex­pe­ri­ences, which are driv­ing a move­ment of be­spoke pro­duc­tion at scale. At the same time, how­ever, AH has also en­hanced the hu­man abil­ity to en­joy group ex­pe­ri­ences, mak­ing it eas­ier for us to con­nect with large, like-minded groups across the world, to come to­gether and share a tribal, col­lec­tive ex­pe­ri­ence.

trust para­dox

Blockchain tech­nol­ogy will be para­mount in ar­rest­ing the gen­er­a­tion and cir­cu­la­tion of ev­ery­thing fake and not trust­wor­thy. Be it fake news, un­earthed in­for­ma­tion, or non-ex­ist­ing pro­cesses, it will all be cur­tailed. People and brands will be able to in­ter­act and trans­act hon­estly and trans­par­ently for safer and faster growth.

trans­formed ex­pe­ri­ence

AH will give hu­mans the abil­ity to feel and ex­pe­ri­ence the world dif­fer­ently and in deeper ways, al­though harder to quan­tify. For in­stance, use of holo­grams in main­stream re­tail to fa­cil­i­tate pur­chase. Also, the abil­ity for people to be ‘present’ in mul­ti­ple places at the same time us­ing tech­nolo­gies like telep­res­ence and co-pres­ence. XR (ex­tended re­al­ity ex­pe­ri­ences ow­ing to AR, VR, MR) will be the new nor­mal where users can in­habit and ex­pe­ri­ence a world that may nor­mally be closed to them—or in­deed be im­pos­si­ble to imag­ine other­wise.

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