ICT Clinic (Punch Newspaper)

Human touch is paramount despite advancement in technology [ICT Clinic]

A little over six years ago, precisely in the month of June, I wrote a piece on this column entitled, ‘How technology is making us lose our human touch.’

Those were the early days of technology advancement in our dear country and I felt the burden to educate my esteemed readers about the need, to always remember that at the end of the day, we are all human beings.

Going by what I witness every now and then, my intention today, is to re-publish a part of that piece, so that, we can see that, those lines are more than real to us today. We live in a world, where human beings are now being largely controlled by algorithms and artificial intelligence to the point that, many buying decisions are first made unconsciously before the actual purchase.

Today, I observe a lot of young people making life-long decisions, based on what they see their online friends, followers, friends, or, even, school mates do or say online. Forgetting the aspect that, many of what is shown online, is simply, make-belief; they are, usually, not real.

I am not a psychologist, but this sort of lifestyle would not only, but lead to increased cases of depression, loneliness, lack of concentration and sadly, suicide. A number of studies are already pointing to this fact and one hopes that, the increased cases of suicide in Nigeria, has no connection with the fact that, we are, indeed, losing our human touch in many ways than one.

A friend once told me that, 90 per cent of communications with his wife is via instant messaging. I am sure that, you might say that is not a big deal because, she might be abroad. That scenario is understandable, however, in this case, they are both in the country and right under the same roof. The goal, isn’t to act as a judge, or, commander of how couples should communicate, however, I doubt if this is healthy in the long run for their well being.

The pertinent question to young people, who are always glued to their phone, is simple. When was the last time you said, ‘hello’ to someone, face to face, or, even a smile? As the world advances, some of these natural, freely given characteristics might end up becoming scarce commodities, if we do not take care. The world has evolved to an interesting point, where people witness accidents and rather than help out in any way possible, they take out their phones and start shooting maimed, or, dead victims instead!

Fake news, via online channels and social media, has led to crisis in many parts of the world. Not just ordinary crisis, but leading to the death of many. In Nigeria, we have seen how lies and fake news, almost, quickly get out of hand. Platform owners are constantly struggling to control the spreading of some of the harmful information from being promoted, via their platforms.

Deep fake is one technology that is keeping industry watchers awake, with it, anybody can pretend to be anybody. In case you have not heard about it, just get on a search engine and search for ‘President Obama and Deep Fake’. Watching the short video, will make you wonder what kind of world we would be living in, say in another five years? People need tech education more than ever before, because — Finish Reading on the Punch