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Technology Vision 2024: Human by design

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It’s time to make technology human by design.

This is a moment for reinvention. In the coming years, businesses will have an increasingly powerful array of technologies at their disposal that will open new pathways to unleash greater human potential, productivity, and creativity. Early adopters and leading businesses have kick-started a race toward a new era of value and capability. And their strategies are underpinned by one common thread – the technology is becoming more human.

It sounds counterintuitive: after all, wasn’t technology built by, and for, humans? Creating tools that expand our physical and cognitive abilities is so unique to humanity that some argue it defines us as a species.

Despite this, the tools we build are often distinctly unhuman, filling gaps by doing and being what we couldn’t, and in the process radically transforming our lives. Cars expanded our freedom of mobility. Cranes let us build skyscrapers and bridges. Machines helped us create, distribute, and listen to music.

Technology’s unhuman nature can also be its drawback. Extended use of hand tools can lead to arthritis. Years of looking at screens can accelerate vision problems. We have amazing navigational tools, but they still distract us from driving.  Granted, there have been efforts to create tools that are more ergonomic or easier to use.  But even so, time and again we see and make decisions about our lives based on what is best for a machine rather than optimising human potential.

Now, for the first time in history, there’s strong evidence to indicate that we are reversing course—not by moving away from technology, but rather by embracing a generation of technology that is more human. Technology that is more intuitive, both in design and its very nature, demonstrates more human-like intelligence, and is easy to integrate across every aspect of our lives.

Generative AI has the potential to impact much more than just the task at hand. It’s also starting to profoundly reshape organisations and markets

Consider the impact generative AI and transformer models are having on the world around us. What began as chatbots like ChatGPT and Bard has become a driving force in making technology more intuitive, intelligent and accessible to all. Where AI once focused on automation and routine tasks, it’s now shifting to augmentation, changing how people approach work, and is rapidly democratising the technologies and specialised knowledge work that were once reserved for the highly trained or deep pocketed.

Generative AI has the potential to impact much more than just the task at hand. It’s also starting to profoundly reshape organisations and markets.

Of course, the advent of more human technology isn’t limited to AI: It’s starting to address many of the pain points that exist between us and technology, paving the way for greater human potential.

Technology that is human by design will reach new people and expand access to knowledge, which will enable ongoing innovation. Think of all the people historically alienated by technology who will be able to contribute to the digital revolution. As technology becomes more intuitive, we can tap into these people as new customers and new employees.

Read the full Tech Vision on Accenture's website!