How Humalogy Measures the Human/Technology Balance on the hello, Human Podcast
by Jon Knisley, Mar 02, 2:00:40 pm
Our podcast, hello, Human, features the leading builders, explorers, and warriors of AI. Together, we investigate how they’re putting AI to work to transform enterprises and make sustainable progress on automation, privacy, business disruption, human-bot teaming, and much more. We strive to make each episode intelligent and engaging, with the ultimate goal of improving your understanding of the opportunities AI can bring to your business and our world.
Episode 6 – Humalogy and The Future of Work
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Episode 6 - Humalogy and The Future of Work
In episode #6, my guest was Scott Klososky, the founding partner of Future Point of View and creator of Humalogy. His work helps companies determine how much technology is appropriate so they can find the right balance between humans and technology. That balance aims to keep us from avoiding the dystopian view that the robots are going to destroy the universe, and getting us closer to the utopian view that technology will lead to a more prosperous future.
On the podcast, Scott and I discussed the transition to automation in the workplace and its impact on interpersonal relationships. The goal of automation has always been to improve productivity and efficiency, yet the human condition has rarely been considered. Too often, technology fails to create positive experiences (think phone-based customer support menus). Humalogy is Scott’s framework for helping organizations blend technology and the human effort to maximize performance and potential.
We developed (Humalogy) because there wasn’t a word to describe the integration of humans and technology, nor was there a way to measure it,” explained Scott. “The reason that I was interested in this was to try to help the world make the transition between everything being done by hand to a world where machines will do a lot of the tasks for us.”
We’re smack in the middle of this transition today, and for many people, it’s a scary proposition. That fear manifests in different ways, whether you fear robots will push you out of a job, or your smartphone is listening to you, or that bias in AI saddles you with an unfair disadvantage. And, while Scott confronts those fears head-on, he’s also an optimist who sees more good than bad in technology.
“Just because I’m an optimist doesn’t mean there aren’t also problems,” said Scott. “When I look at the future of AI, robotics, and machine intelligence, it’s 55% good and 45% bad. There’s a list of things that are a bit negative. I just believe the positive list is slightly larger.”
The positive is where Scott spends most of his time, particularly with Humalogy. The framework assigns a score to gauge whether a process is totally manual, which achieves a score of H5, or totally completed by technology, with a score of T5. The 1 through 5 suffix defines where a process is on the spectrum, and the middle score of zero implies an equal blend of human and technology work.
“When you look at that continuum, it now gives you a vocabulary to be able to say, ‘Okay, if we look at a process like hiring a person in HR, how much of that today is based on technology, and how much of hiring that person is based on humans?’,” Scott explained. “It’s a different recipe for different companies. When we say Humalogy, we’re talking about that scale. We’re talking about a continuum that is an integration of humans and technology.”
Where a process lies on that continuum depends on the company, and there’s no right or wrong score. The Humalogy for the hiring process at a tech company might be drastically different from that at a law firm, and both are entirely appropriate. However, those scores can be used to compare your processes with those of a competitor, for example. If your hiring process is an H3 but a competitor is at T2, then their process is likely more efficient, faster, and of higher quality.
Scott then helps organizations understand the current and desired Humalogy scores for various processes. That desired score depends on everything from organizational culture, to the customers’ desire to engage with technology, to the purpose of the process itself. And, where Humalogy balances the people and technology sides of the golden triangle, it’s critical to also include the process.
One of the most beneficial things a leader can do is to say, ‘Hey, let’s fully exploit what’s already out there,’” said Scott. “We have the technology, we have people, but what we don’t do is rebuild the processes fast enough or well enough. That’s really where the gap is. All we are lacking is the focus on automating the processes in the appropriate way.”
Scott and I also discussed how the pandemic has impacted organizational processes over the past year. Virtual meetings and video calls get the most attention, and for good reason. Scott points to them as offering a perfect blend of people and technology, yet the process has been lacking because so many people switch their video cameras off. That diminishes the people side of the triangle and devalues not just the technology, but also the meeting itself.
“In a world where we’re distributed, you’ve got to build relationships in some way,” Scott said. “Humans are designed to want to be able to see each other, see the body language. You’ve got to step back now, consider every kind of virtual interaction you have, and you need to design it.”
Scott and I had a lot more to say about Humalogy, video calls, and the future of work on the hello, Human podcast. You’ll also hear his favorite resources for staying current on today’s technologies. Subscribe to hello, Human on your podcast app of choice, or read the full podcast transcript here.