Chapter 8When Technology Becomes Humanlike, Does a Real Human Provide a Differentiated Experience?

It used to be that technologies that we use every day, things like Interactive Voice Response (IVR), call centers, web pages, and even early mobile apps were pretty clunky. When you think about technology in the service experience, things like an IVR call center system, you would call up these call centers and get an IVR tree which could sometimes sound like just like an org chart, and be extremely complex and very difficult to navigate. How many times have you forgotten what the first option on the IVR menu was by the time you got to option 7, and then had to wait to repeat the options?

Today, however, the design of technology has become elegant, and highly usable. It’s so easy, an 18-month-old child can pick up an iPad and intuitively figure out how to use it. But don’t let that ease of use fool you.

Today’s iPad Air tablet has close to the processing power of a 1993 Supercomputer,1 processing something close to 80 gigaflops. The 64-bit Apple A7 chip that powers the iPhone 5S and the iPad Air is a 1.4 GHz dual core CPU, which means it is about 1.4 million times more powerful than the 1 kHz processor that was the CPU of the Apollo 11 Guidance Computer—yes, your iPhone is more than a million times more powerful than the computer that took Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to the Moon. As my 10-year-old son sarcastically asks when I mention this factoid, “Dad, why ...

Get Breaking Banks now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.