Why Human Interaction Still Matters in an AI-Dominated World
Aug 15th 2023
AI is often touted as a panacea set to revolutionize everything, promising a dramatic improvement in our lives, but does it really deliver on that promise?
This week, I found myself scanning and bagging my own groceries at Publix and doing the same at The Home Depot. I also needed to handle a few things at the bank where the single client representative they had kept suggesting I handle my banking myself online. I expended an absurd amount of time attempting to resolve an issue with Amazon, a two-minute task had a real service representative been available.
Google informed me that their AI mistakenly flagged our business account as a duplicate, subsequently erasing every review response I’d written over the past eight years, and with no means to restore them. To top it all off, a lunch with my husband at a formerly full-service restaurant required me to effectively be my own server via my phone. However, this didn’t prevent them from suggesting a 25% tip for self-service. Call me skeptical, but I’m struggling to see this as progress.
I understand that times are tough. Inflation is soaring, non-essentials are becoming a luxury, good employees are hard to find, and businesses are trying to accomplish more with less. However, it’s increasingly difficult to justify paying more while receiving less, especially in the service sector, which appears determined to discover new ways of serving without providing any actual service.
But here’s the thing: human beings are inherently social creatures. We crave interaction. It’s an essential part of our nature, and we cannot thrive without it. The impacts of solitary confinement and the mental health surge after three years of Covid-19 are ample evidence that we require real human interaction. For those people and businesses that understand this fundamental aspect, AI could be our greatest ally.
How can something seemingly eroding human interaction be beneficial? As I explained to my team last week, AI can’t offer you a comforting smile. AI can’t see that you’re nervous about your dental appointment and take steps to put you at ease and make you comfortable. AI can’t celebrate and share in the emotional excitement of seeing your newly restored smile for the first time. Only humans can provide that level of empathy and connection. As AI permeates more aspects of our daily lives, the value of human interaction will only increase, and we’ll seek it wherever possible.
This brings me to my key point. Deering Dental was created with the goal of restoring the personal human touch that seems to be evaporating from modern medicine. The proliferation of AI is making this human touch even more crucial. I envision Deering Dental as an oasis of genuine hospitality and warmth amidst the expanding desert of impersonal service and diminishing humanness. I vow to you, my valued guest, that we will always prioritize the human element and offer the high-level service you deserve. Certain things are simply too important to leave to machines.
If my perspective resonates with you, I encourage you to seek out and support businesses that value real human interaction. By choosing where you spend your money, you’re letting businesses know that human interaction is still desired and necessary. I’m not naive—I know AI will continue to advance, further dehumanizing our world and fostering a sense of isolation. This makes it even more vital to support those who strive to preserve the human essence of our world. If you agree, and ever find yourself in need of genuine human interaction, drop by for an espresso and a warm smile. My team and I would love to see you.
Dr. Yenile Pinto DDS