Lab Notes

Being Human Isn’t Easy

Machines are acting like humans. We are training cars to drive themselves. We are using apps that manage our finances and plan our upcoming vacations for us. Our digital assistants plan our days and order flowers for significant others. Even the business of teaching computers to think like humans is booming.

But as technology becomes more human-like, how can we make sure that things don’t get weird?

Because let’s face it, being human just isn’t that easy.

I was interested in how this applies to our work. How can we create digital experiences without losing the ethereal human-ness? How do we ensure that consumers never get lost in a sea of automated responses, and algorithmic recommendations? To answer this, I reached out to people who interact in this world every day and asked them:

“How can we use technology in our work without losing the core human element?”

And here’s what they said.

 


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Jamey Erickson (Creative & UX, Lunar)

When it comes to technology and humanity, I think about how we can utilize tech, not just to say ‘we did it’, but to really enhance the overall human experience.

I want incredibly complicated technological solutions that get out of the way a bit. At the heart, solutions should always bolster real, genuine human interaction.

Basically, I just want my car doors to “magically” open as I’m trying to wrestle my 2-year-old daughter over to her carseat while also carrying a bag of snacks. Is that too much to ask?

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Kate Sommers (Digital Strategist, General Mills)

Consumers may not be able to articulate the desire for the human touch with a brand. However, the continued influx of successful small and emerging companies is no coincidence.

As the big guys, we try to catch up to the advantages that the small agile companies have; the ability to tell a believable story about the individuals that go into making a brand live day in and day out. Utilizing storytelling platforms such as snapchat, instagram and owned web-content are the tip of the iceberg for a big brand, but are inherent for emerging brands.

They bring relatability to consumers that could never otherwise exist on the back of a box or in a banner ad. To reach consumers in a place they voluntarily go, to make them feel connected, to feel an affinity for a brand and what they stand for; that is how tech can truly bring us all together.

 

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Matt Loth (Digital Insight Analyst, GoKart Labs)

In the 1950’s no one expected a billboard, a magazine, or even the radio to personalize it’s message for you. Either you were in the target audience or you weren’t.

When an inanimate object is programmed to personalize and respond to a user it stimulates a users brain in the same way a real human interaction does. In this way, through creating personalized, interactive experiences, marketing efforts can imbue human-computer interactions with a bit more humanity.

As our capacity to artificially leverage the power of human connections to influence a person’s decisions grows, modern marketers would be wise to think carefully about the scope and scale of their influence.

 


 

The truth is, headlines promising us that a Blade Runner future is just around the corner are great. But the real “future” is built of micro-moments, tiny interactions that change our perception of life.

It’s essential to stay vigilantly conscious of the effect our programs, tools, and apps have on a consumer’s experience.

 We must never convince ourselves we can replace the intangible impact of human interaction.



GoKart is a digital invention & growth company, a recognized ‘Top Place to Work’, and one of Inc’s Fastest Growing Private Companies in America. To learn more about our services, contact us here: [email protected]

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