Do we trust our machines?

Main visual : Do we trust our machines?

The answer isn’t simple. We do, and we don’t.

We love our machines because they take away the burden of repetitive tasks and they organize our lives. But we fear them because we keep being told that they will take away our jobs. That’s on a personal level.

At an organizational level there is, I believe, the same ambiguity. We want to run our businesses more efficiently and more cost-effectively and automation, machine-learning, AI and robots can help us do that. But, we also feel nervous when the integrity of our business is reliant on algorithms and automated processes as well as even chatbots and robots.

The reality is, you can’t turn the digital clock back. We need to trust our machines – real or software – and we must look beyond our fears to the benefits that solutions like SAP S/4HANA and LEONARDO bring. And they are many.

In fact, the combination of the two solutions covers both sides of what an organization needs to do each day: run well in the present and deliver new ideas to take the business forward.

Fujitsu’s new Insight Guide, Harnessing the genius of digital, is a valuable overview of the subject, and it talks about the need for trust.

My colleague, Benedickt Wenzel, puts it well: “It’s important to trust the machines; to trust that they will deliver more efficiency as well as high quality – not just in process functions, but in real world decision making. I think there is a lack of trust, and that is slowing down adoption of S/4HANA mostly… and maybe the release of LEONARDO is just too much for some people to understand all at once.”

There’s a fascinating book called ‘The Knowledge Illusion’ (2017) by two professors of cognitive science, Steven Sloman and Phillip Fernbach.

They show that humans have succeeded not just because they have bigger brains than other mammals, but because they augment their brainpower with tools. Tools helped to drive evolution. Without them we would not have achieved civilization.

On our own, we’re great at having ideas and processing small amounts of information, but not good at large volumes of data or remembering every detail. That’s what digital technologies are for. They write, “Humans are made for technological change. Our bodies and brains are designed to incorporate new tools into our activities as if they were extensions of our bodies.”

So, that should be the basis of trust – not just in SAP’s offering or services– but all solutions that benefit us. We believe that co-creation is a way to pool not just expertise and experience, but also to establish trust. That can help you free your mind to be more creative and insightful. It’s how we all can succeed. Together.

Read the insight guide here