What Won’t Technology Replace?

Over the last year or so, in many different forums, there have been countless discussions about what technology will do for us in the near future.

May 08, 2018 by Spencer Gracias is CEO at Stefanini North America and Asia Pacific.

Automation, autonomous cars, artificial intelligence, e-commerce and digital transformation, to say the least, are the hottest subjects in this arena. There are no more doubts that the analysts’ predictions are becoming real, and we are going to see this reality grow exponentially. Business analyst firm Gartner estimates AI business value to reach nearly $4 trillion by 2022.

“Keep in mind that machines are not able to replace us. Technology is the enabler that will sustain the solutions that we will co-create for a better world.”


Parallel to all of this excitement are some questions: Is technology extinguishing our jobs? Are professions going to disappear? Will our lives remain the same as today?

Well, gurus and experts could easily answer all of these questions; in fact, they will have also statistics, projections and formal studies to support them.

I’m sure that technology is going to change our lives, the way we do business, the way we perform our daily tasks at work and our personal lives. I believe that technology will make many things easier, faster, cheaper and better. Without a doubt, things will be different. But I am convinced that, even though technology replaces some functions, it will never replace us. Here is why:

Irreplaceable Characteristics

There are things that technology cannot replace, and several that I am highlighting are empathy, sympathy, compassion, and kindness. These characteristics are irreplaceable and key for our lives.

Try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and relate to the pain another is feeling, adjusting the message and choosing the words according to the situation the human being in front of you is living. These skills, which are complex but not impossible, are difficult to emulate.

A machine will never understand what a tear rolling down a face means because, if it comes with a smile, it could be happy, but if it comes with a frown, it could be in pain, suffering or hopeless. A decision-making machine based on statistics and association with similar cases could lead to making an ice-cold, merciless decision.

A machine will never understand what a quivering voice means. Is it desperation, nervousness, happiness, anxiety or another emotion? The “user experience” and the “human centricity approach”—the strongest trends which are changing today’s consumer—are highly dependent on the capacity of empathy, sympathy and kindness, among other human attributes.

I strongly believe that humans and technology are complementary. How can you take advantage of this? Keep your eyes and your heart on the processes of understanding and helping your colleagues, partners and customers overcome their problems, achieve their goals and become successful. Learn all you can about the technology that is available to your advantage. This is the key.

Humans and Machines Are Complementary

Forrester says that we may see better human and machine collaboration due to improved interfaces; enhanced business intelligence and analytics solutions from moving resources to the cloud; new AI capabilities facilitating the redesign of analytics and data management roles and activities; and the emergence of the insights-as-a-service market. Why should we give up these benefits?

Technology associated with human centricity is the core of digital transformation, the movement of a complete revolution in all industries and, therefore, our lives. Technology is useless if it is not addressing the issues that impact all of us. So use it, join it, don’t be afraid and don’t fight it.

Keep in mind that machines are not able to replace us. Technology is the enabler that will sustain the solutions that we will co-create for a better world.

Lets co-create, ask our experts for a proposal.