Can Our Bots Make Us Better Humans Through Automation?
If you are anything like me (and I hope not cause I’m totally unique 😉 ), then you forget things. A lot. I’ve had to come up with systems to remember where my keys and wallet are (if I don’t put them back in the same place every time, then I completely forget where they are), and I never, ever remember anything I ever have to do. I always have to throw it into some to-do list manager or Evernote. Otherwise, I will forget.
I love Evernote. It’s like my backup brain – holds everything that doesn’t fit in there anymore. Sometimes I feel like my brain really is shrinking – but it’s not because I’m getting older – it’s just that there is too much that I need to cram in there. And I love to-do list software – although I have yet to find the perfect one – the one I’ve currently used is Any. do, after spending a lot of time on Asana, which is a little too powerful for what I need. Without my Evernote, Any.do and my calendar, I’m lost. I can’t remember anything.
But that’s BY design. I do that on purpose to free my mind from thinking about other things. Just like in GTD – if you take a task and schedule it, you can safely forget about it. I’ve automated myself. Many productivity and habit gurus say that automation is the secret to sticking to a habit.
But here is the thing: don’t you feel that a lot of your day is taken up by little things which you need to do but are really kind of brain dead? What doesn’t really expand your mind, but are just things you must do? Like reading emails, returning emails, approving things, booking a flight, booking vacations, driving to someplace, remembering to buy a card for your friend’s birthday, etc. There are so many little things that take up our days; if you ever wrote up a time log of the little stuff that you end up doing every day, I’m sure that you probably spend 80% or more of your day doing busywork, and the rest, a small sliver to be sure, doing the cool stuff that you want to do.
Wouldn’t it be great to become a better human through automation? Imagine how people around you would improve their image of you if you never forgot their birthdays, always kept in touch and delivered them helpful notes, and always seemed present and mindful, even if you weren’t?
I see a big opportunity here: where could you provide a service (or services for that matter) that can alleviate or remove some of those little things you need to do but can’t. Sure, there are services like TaskRabbit and all sorts of other services which will allow you to outsource specific tasks to humans, but those cost money. What if there were ways to automate your life without having to call on other humans to do the work?
This is the basis of my thoughts on the Seamless World. How can we improve our lives – and become better humans – simply by automating all of those little things that we don’t need to do – those things we’ve done a hundred times before?
We have to develop systems and tools to let the bots handle it. Our brains are too big and creative to spend time on drudgery tasks. Let’s build the tools to let us focus on the big thoughts and let the systems do the little things. Let’s let automation makes us better people.