Dreading The Future With Robo-tation

From the age of stone to the Iron throne, we have come a long way.

 

The pace with which the technology is advancing, it’s overwhelming – scary and exciting, at the same time.

 

The infatuation, which most human have, with the sci-fi is ever increasing.

 

The existence of super humans or the super powers, seems like the most desired fantasy.

 

The mythology had such people and the future will have such people, with extra-ordinary might, suggest the scientists who are working relentlessly on making it possible.

 

A scientist brings home an ape, feeds him, treats him like a family, and tries to teach him the human ways. But, he is not able to provide the natural habitat which the ape long desires, to be with the likes of his own.

 

Then again, there is T-8 and similar ones, who possess vast knowledge and can guide you about thing from past to future.

 

Learn from Planet of the Apes or Star Wars, the technological advancement can’t, just yet, replace the complex emotions, wired deep in to human neurological system, with any other creature.

 

A machine can carry out a millions calculations in a fraction of time, but when it comes to handling few emotions simultaneously and act accordingly – no one could it better than a human.

 

There was a movie which I saw a long time back, 2002, which had something to do with robot replacing human. In the movie, there is a director who makes the movie all by himself and replaces the main character with computer enhanced person, which he calls Simone (the movie) or Simulation-One.

 

Now, the reason I mentioned this movie is because the director could code a few basic facial expressions/emotions to the simulated character, however it was all machine/code controlled, and nothing which it could have done on its own.

 

My point being, there’s a reason why humans think the way they do; there’s a reason why animals don’t think like humans do; and there’s a reason why you can’t force a machine to think like humans – although I would be intrigued by the possibility of that happening in near future; the complexity of human brain has not been decoded for anyone to replicate it.

 

When you think about replacing humans with robots, do you actually think you could rely on robots completely?

 

Of course, there are areas where robots could be absolutely worth having and can be more efficient – like working in auto repair shops, cleaning the floor of a restaurant, guarding a shop or an office complex, or even carrying out heavy loads.

 

Nonetheless, without a human support or supervision, things could go awry pretty soon.

 

Hey, we wouldn’t want the earth to be turned in to a movie where robots are fighting with humans, or worst, taking complete control.

 

Well… that’s movie stuff and let’s leave it to that for now!

 

But, like the flip sides of a coin, there are pros and cons of any advancement. While, one group is working to resolve one or more problems with a technology, there’s another group who’s planning other things with it.

 

I’m just being wary of the fact that, if not controlled with tight regulations and guidelines, the vicious circle around such technologies could bring more harm than good.

 

I’m not voting against any advancements, rather I’m amazed of the progress this world has made over the past few decades or so.

 

But, when prototypes are being used as a fore-front to showcase good, while the real intent is not so good, then you ought to question, think about the bigger picture and the end result.

 

Think about it, perhaps you’ll find a reason to question it too, just like I’m now!

 

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HOW-TO: Leverage Tech Initiatives To Provide Exceptional Customer Experience – Travel & Hospitality (T&H) Industry

Whether you want to tick that item on your check-list or cross a pending item off your bucket list; whether you have to go for a business trip or take a break from that business; whether you have a reason or you want a reason; we all need a lil break time!!

It’s not always about travelling, not about making time for your family; maybe it’s only about seeking serenity or time-off from that monotonous work.

As much as we would like to plan them in advance, we never really get to it. And, most of the times we end up making plans – impromptu.

That suddenness, that itch, that adrenal rush – isn’t it exciting; too overwhelming?!

Well… it’s just the beginning of that holiday which we could do away with.

Price comparison sites, individual booking portals, and third party site and apps are always there to help us make these bookings.

With more and more people hooked on to internet, it is becoming a challenge for these companies to be competitive.

Why is it a challenge?

To start with,

  • There are so many sites and apps available to choose from
  • Then there are promotional offers provided by each of them, which leads to a price war and the need for further discounts by mainstream players
  • Of course, with many competitors lining up one needs to reduce the operating margin
  • The limited budget means there could be small or no upgrade to IT dept.

Don’t stress! Let’s take a practical scenario to understand where we are and where we could be.

Considering, I have to go to a place (like New York) and I’m currently in Miami. Now, all I have to do is open a travel booking site to select an airlines of my choice and a hotel. Alternatively, I can select the hotel from a different site or from the site of the hotel which I generally go to.

This is pretty straightforward as most of the sites have similar flow, user experience. The only different would be in cost.

Most of the hotel sites have content which is static, with an exception of booking rooms, which has dynamic data and involves some user interactions.

How can brands use wearables to improve customer experiences?

How can I bring innovation to this?

Let’s rewind this a bit, shall we?

The moment I had to plan for a booking, I would like to initiate the voice assistant on my phone (like Siri) and say something like “Let’s plan a vacation.”, and Siri would reply, “Which app would you like to access?”

If I have set a preferred app already, then this would not be asked and the app would be launched.

The moment that app is launched or the website is pulled up, the chat bot on the site should ask certain question like, “Where are you headed?”, “When are you leaving and returning?”, and similar question but keeping the interaction to bare minimum and fetching the best results. Then, of course, the data could be filtered out to make a selection.

With my booking done for flight and hotel, I’m all set to go.

Now comes the futuristic bit.

The smartness of these chat bots or voice assistants comes in, when they book a cab (or suggest to book) since I would be needing it, both from current location to airport or train station, and then from destination airport to destination hotel.

Right from reminding me that I’m supposed to leave that day, to my cab approaching in 15 minutes, to route to airport. And then, flight number flashing on my smart watch or the mobile app, to taxi number and contact details of the driver waiting for me at the destination airport, and the route to destination hotel – engaging, informative, relevant, and unique experience.

The taxi could be booked by the person or provided by the hotel, but the door-to-door updates, information received would be such a different and refreshing experience for the traveller.

All along the way, give out vouchers, discounts, conduct surveys, promotional events, or whatever way you can think of engaging and rewarding customer.

I will talk about more of these in my next blog, so keep reading…

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While Samsung Was Folding

The thing with technology is, it keeps evolving. The pace at which it currently is, makes me wonder if it’s a good thing or bad?! On one hand there are things which seem so futuristic that you would want to grab one of them, while the lifecycle of these products is reducing at faster pace than even; and I’m afraid it will continue to do so.

While I’m preparing myself to invest in one product, which mind you doesn’t come cheap these days, I need to be thoughtful of the changes or upgrades which might happen to it sooner than I could expect. So, it’s something like I’m planning to buy iPhone 7 while the company is ready to launch a new version in 6-8 month time. Shelling out $800 for a product which will be upgraded in less than a year is not something I would appreciate, unless I don’t mind the upgrades and can make use of this product for next 2-3 years.

How do you react when you read about an upcoming product?

Around the world, there are expo happening with major companies showcasing what they have been working on and would be launching those products soon. During one such expo, if news article is to be believed, Samsung showcased a folding smartphone cum tablet. Like many others, my first reaction to it was, wow! I liked the way the product could be folded and how the system would detect the mobile or tablet mode. Moreover, the device could then be connected to Bluetooth keyboard and can be used with much more convenience. However, when I looked closely at the video I noticed something unusual and kept on thinking whether this would hold up for long.

When the device is folded or flattened out, there is a visible impact on the screen which made me wonder how long the screen could sustain the pressure before it wears and tears out. If you keep on changing the views then the joints would become loose, there would be impact along the fold, and there is a high chance the screen would crack. I’m sure the company would have thought about it, but the usage of device over prolonged period of time could not be replicated and nor could the different ways in which user would use the device.

It might be too early to comment on any of that, but for the sake of argument let me know what you think?

 

Author speaks: I’m not here to change the world; I intend to make an impact on one soul at a time. If you like my work, please press Like, or better yet put a Comment; perhaps a feedback. However, the best appreciation of my work will be to Share this with your friends and your social circles (FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, G+, and others).

Thanks in advance!