Schmidt on Technology and Human Judgment in the Future

May 22nd, 2013

I recently finished reading “The New Digital Age” by Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen. There really is not much of worth here, other than a few good points (one of which I discussed here). Here is one of their interesting conclusions about how technology and human judgment will coexist in the future.

First, it’s clear that technology alone is no panacea for the world’s ills, yet smart uses of technology can make a world of difference. In the future, computers and humans will increasingly split duties according to what each does well. We will use human intelligence for judgment, intuition, nuance and uniquely human interactions; we will use computing power for infinite memory, infinitely fast processing and actions limited by human biology. We’ll use computers to run predictive correlations from huge volumes of data to track and catch terrorists, but how they are interrogated and handled thereafter will remain the purview of humans and their laws. Robots in combat will prevent deaths through greater precision and situational awareness, but human judgment will determine the context in which they are used and what actions they can take.

As technology advances, the role of human judgment becomes more important, mechanical (no pun intended) tasks, that can be delegated, will be valued less. What this means for the workforce, our economy, and our culture, is a question I have been giving much thought of lately. More on that later this summer.