We entrust computers with larger amounts of our personal information as our professional and personal lives become more connected. Despite our craving for human interaction, do we place the same amount of trust in humans or do we trust technology more?
Computers vs. Humans
Our 2017 Technology and the Human Condition survey asked whether respondents trust computers or humans more. Fifty-six percent answered they trust computers because humans have the potential to make more mistakes. Computers don’t have an emotional element that clouds their decision-making efforts or as one respondent puts it, “Computers don’t have bad days.”
Most respondents elaborated on that response. They agreed that computers have the upper hand when conducting microsecond decision-making. We rely on humans to build algorithms, but those algorithms accomplish tasks much faster and more efficiently than humans do.
“Humans have a limit to the amount of data that can be stored in their heads. Computers don’t and can make connections between much larger data sets that lead to eureka moments.” – SURVEY RESPONDENT
Respondents also acknowledge the human-built algorithms that power machine learning are only as accurate as the person who wrote the code. Respondents agreed that computers can be trusted to make fewer mistakes. However, certain decisions – especially when instinct or empathy is involved such as diagnosing diseases – require a human element.
Only five percent of technology professionals believe the data stored in computers is absolutely secure, and 59 percent believe it is somewhat secure, even though they trust computers more than humans. Overall, we have a long way to go in terms of data security.
Software teams likely skew higher than the rest of the population when it comes to placing trust in computers. They created the software. They’ve had more time to adapt and embrace innovation in this progressive atmosphere. They’ve seen their work positively impact human productivity and present opportunities to explore solutions to new problems.
We’ve found that humans are highly adaptable beings when exposed to new ideas and tools. But, mainstream audiences may not live and breathe technology innovation on the same level as software development teams. However, their adoption of technology will surely grow as they witness more benefits of leveraging technology to improve their daily lives.