“Where once artificial intelligence researchers proposed artefacts that would win us over with their smartness, designers of these latest machines aim to seduce with sociability. Sociable robots press our “Darwinian buttons”: we respond to humanoid objects that make eye contact, track our motion and say our names as “creatures” with intentions, consciousness, even feelings.
Indeed, when an object reaches out and asks us to care for it, we find we not only want to care for it, but want it to care for us in return. Nurturance turns out to be the “killer app” in our relationships with the inanimate. We are vulnerable to new attachments, seduced by machines that ask for our care. They “pretend” to converse, but do not understand what we say. Engrossed by sociable robots, we are alone yet experience a new sense of intimacy.” [...]
“Alone with robots, we feel connected; together with people but not fully relating to them, we feel alone. We are in the still centre of a perfect storm. I call this the “robotic moment”, a technological moment in which we fear our lives with technology are out of control, and we fantasise, paradoxically, that it is technology that will help us re-establish control.”
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It is not surprising that almost every business analyst, from whatever field they come from, management, business consulting, marketing, finance…etc predicts that customer experience and customer value in use will be the next big strategic thing, including major players like Forrester research – The State Of Customer Experience, 2010 – and big five consultancies like Cap Gemini. See also for example Emanuele Quintarelli’s summaries of the Enterprise 2.0 Summit 2010 and the “Social CRM Strategies Summit” (Day 1 & Day 2). More fundamental models in business and academia are underlining this new paradigm: Service dominant logic, and lean consumption as an application of lean management .
And that’s exactly the reason why service design (as a generalization of the formerly emerged discipline of User experience design – see Peter Morville, Smashing Magazine & Kimmy Paluch) and design thinking are starting to raise such a high interest: It’s these disciplines that have the tools, methods and people (the designers and design thinkers) necessary to discover & create customer value and experience, the new ingredients for success and competitiveness in business.