Do you remember the Jetsons? They were the cartoon family that lived in the fictitious futuristic town of Orbit City in the year 2062. They flew to work in aerocars that hovered in space and they lived in fully automated houses that were controlled by push-buttons. When the show first aired in 1962, and later when it ran again in the early eighties, people half-jokingly predicted that we would one day be living the Jetsons’ lifestyle, and they weren’t terribly far off in their predictions. Our houses can be at least partially remote-controlled with the touch of a button and even if cars aren’t hovering above the turnpike on the drive to work, they do manage to talk to their owners and park themselves. We’re close to reaching a Jetsons level of technology, but one of the things they had that we don’t was a robot named Rosie.
Rosie the robot was supposed to be a machine, but she had the capacity for caring for others as if she were human, and that’s one aspect of the show that will never be replicated in real life. Technology can make things easier, quicker and more convenient, but it will never replace the personal touch that a human can bring to a business transaction. Your computer won’t smile at a client when he walks in the door. Your phone system won’t determine that a client’s phone call is urgent and therefore should be put right through instead of being routed into a never-ending maze of a voicemail system. Even really advanced voice recognition systems won’t recognize a long-term customer and greet him by his nickname. With all that technology can bring to the business world, the one thing it can’t give clients – genuine personal concern – is up to humans to provide.