By 2030, PWC estimates that 70% of global GDP growth will come from AI, the edge, and the tens of billions of machines computing, sensing, and learning in real time. How we as humans, billions of humans, interact with these machines is a whole new world, and how these machines, billions of them, talk and work with each other and with us is a whole new perspective on the collision paths of technology and human experience . It is unlikely that we can avoid these challenges as we all have to work, play and live with and around these new almost living forms, machines.
The design principles for this new world of 2033 and beyond require that we reconcile the way we have rapidly evolved with our intellect through the technology of the internet and in the future with a software-centric world with the way we evolved (much more slowly), reconnecting our empathy. If we can’t fix this evolutionary imbalance, we’re failing to deliver on the promise of these technologies to bring hope, better health, and a richer environment through machines, software, and human interaction. Seven key insights from the podcast that offer interesting perspectives on our future world:
· So far we have gone through four epochs of industrial existence. From millions of years of hunting, to thousands of years of farming, to a few hundred years of industrial production, and then just seventy years of technology. The next age, the Augmented Age, will be essential to instill a far broader range of values in a world population of over 8 billion and a world of scarce resources.
· We are moving from the Moore’s Law eras of the late 20th century to the software industry that unlocks the potential of people in the 21st century as the power of design and delivery is amplified by the new paradigms of design and experience.
· Nobel Prize winner in behavioral economics, Daniel Kahneman, argued that much of what we as humans value about experience is based on the worst or best moment of that experience or the very last moment of that experience. In a world increasingly driven by experience, mastering this principle of shaping memories will be critical to commercial and social success. Imagine a successful purchase but you can’t open the shell packaging. Now multiply that by the millions of experiences we will be interacting with machines by 2033.
· Our capacity for future knowledge is nearly unlimited, but our understanding and ability to put all that knowledge into a human and empathic perspective lags far behind. For example, the idea of taking a bus is about getting from A to B. But each of us wants or is open to very personal experiences on the bus before we get on the bus and even after. Some might want to get a sense of virtual privacy on the bus. Others may want to customize the view from their windows or see targeted ads. These buses are likely to be much smaller as ongoing intelligence optimizes route customization for customers. Even the role of the bus driver will change as he takes care of a number of these functions, either through a series of commonly used screens or even software for different people’s devices. This is the example of using the tremendous power of software to augment the experiences we all have in what would be very monolithic by nature today.
· Imagine in the year 2033 that a surgeon and a patient can exchange real-time data before and after a robotic surgery to learn together. Depending on the patient, this requires different expressions and interfaces in order to learn optimally. Of the large amount of data we collect, only a small part is used, shared and co-created because the methods of sharing and mutual learning are very monolithic. Some patients may need visual prompts, others audio or spoken prompts.
· The idea of creating virtual worlds for learning (metaverse) offers immense potential, but Mets won’t be the only company to win or play in this space. The ability to learn to connect data and the need for humanity in these application areas will be key to generating quality experiences in the expanded age.
There are four principles we can all apply to build this new world. The need to transparently explain and show why a machine or system, or human interaction with both, worked. We need to deliver ubiquitous experiences that aren’t tied to screens or locations. The process must be collaborative in nature, indeed conversational and agile rather than rigid. This is how people experience life and this is how it should be with our intelligent machines. Ultimately, we must respond to how we live and work as human beings. Humans do this naturally, machines don’t, and if we’re both to thrive, machines need human, responsive dynamics. Think of this example. Where a human sees an inherent danger (a fire or a cliff), a machine sees either open space or flickering red and yellow.
We need to focus more on the human interactions with the technology and less on the actual technology. Products need to be geared more towards human needs with the product (experience). Keeping people at the center of everything we do, design empathy becomes increasingly important as we work in and around billions of intelligent machines in this expanded age. It will be very easy to get distracted by the sounds around us, so finding the right experiences and solving problems has to mature very quickly.
Crystal Rutland has a 15+ year tech career at the forefront of digital products and services, beginning with early web work as an instructional designer, moving to UX strategist at Intel and founding her own digital product design agency. Her focus is on empathy as a powerful design tool, backed by deep insights into UX research and technology