Sales Executive Corner
Does the Rise of Technology Ensure the Demise of Human Decency? It Depends.
"I'm not worried about artificial intelligence giving computers the ability to think like humans; I'm more concerned about people thinking like computers -- without values or compassion." -Tim Cook, MIT Commencement Speech
This is an incredibly profound observation. It’s like a twist from an M Night Shyamyalan movie-we’re so worried about the robots coming, we don’t realize we were the robots all along. The role of technology in the future is fraught with controversy and may be the single most topical issue of our time.
It is easy to see the way technology is decreasing humanity. You only have to look back to your last Thanksgiving dinner to recall every head bowed over their screen rather than socializing with the family.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Technology is not inherently good or bad. For every conversation that doesn’t happen because someone is hunched over their iPhone interacting with someone else not in the room and many miles away, there is another instance of a group of in-laws who would otherwise have nothing in common huddled over a phone cracking up together over the Chewbacca mom. Technology can be the ultimate icebreaker or the ultimate isolation; we decide.
The same is true in business. In general, the rise of AI and automation are causes near and dear to my heart. My business sits squarely in the controversy. My company has created a sales engagement platform that automates tedious admin tasks for sales reps. Hell yeah, we did. We’re proud of this advance. Making calendar invites sucks-I don’t care who’s doing it. There’s no humanity in asking someone if they are available at ten or two p.m and going back and forth until you figure out the right time. But there’s also a deeper implication. By automating sales annoyingness, our reps can then use that valuable time saved for fostering genuine human connection. More time spent advising on strategy. More time listening, storytelling, and empathizing. More time collaborating on which solution will best meet the customer needs. In this way, we’re giving our reps more time to be human, not less.
As with everything, it comes down to intention. Technology is the ship; we are the captains. We decide if we will use technology to draw closer together or increasingly desensitize ourselves from each other. This is the key delineation that will determine whether technology will be our demise or our saving grace in the years to come. Remember, technology doesn’t want anything, we do.