CO - Techinnovation

Humanize Technology - back to the basics of serving human needs, humanly

Humanize Technology - back to the basics of serving human needs, humanly

Humanize Technology - back to the basics of serving human needs, humanly

The subjects of Digital Transformation, Smart Nation, Digital Economy inevitably will have words like efficiency, effectiveness and citizen centricity in them. 
In most cases, it very quickly return to the focus of efficiency and effectiveness in the interest of economic progress and standings in rankings. Citizen centricity in the ‘life’ and ‘living’ category takes a back seat and continues to sit there.
It is time we take a look at indexes that speak to HAPPINESS of these Smart Citizens beyond how many places one nation has leap-frogged another in whatever categories that is in the limelight at that time eg Most improved Digital Economy. Best E-Government etc.
The real question is how a nation can make sure that a silver-haired citizen of theirs living in the rural, less developed part of the country feels that he or she is a citizen of a Smart Nation or Digital Economy?
Let’s start at the very beginning.
Most Smart Nation and Digital Economy Master Plans are often missing the WHY of what they want to deliver and constantly attracted by the shiny new objects of technology and marketing concocted phrases, which are most times the WHAT and the HOW of the same equation. And then continue to churn within it, showing off the features of how fast and how small, going deeper and deeper down the spiral until it is too far to come back.
Citizen-centric WHY must be the foundation and anchor of any national agenda. How do we make our citizens live better, be served better, and not just live longer but live better, longer.
Phrases like digital divide, generation gap and digital illiterate should be minimised and eliminated if we start with the right WHY.
How do we serve ALL citizens alike through great ideas that may leverage technology?
Here is an example that can help eradicate loneliness for the older generation through forming virtual communities within the same neighbourhood online, to connect through camera enabled television sets through upcoming 5G implementation, with speech and language technologies to communicate with one another without depressing or pushing a single button or activating an app.
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A tracking device that will collect data that forms profile of every citizen and analysed on the cloud where abnormality to analysed personal profile through Big Data will set off alerts to the family members so that they can take action when it happens. This could even be a new revenue model for telcos and startups.
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Social programs that dynamically customise its benefits based on connecting the dots of expenditure and income as the needs changes all the time eg father falls ill or died suddenly by connecting the dots versus a stoic and most times stagnant data collected years ago.
Community cohesion initiatives that is based on behavioral signals through Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning far outweighs those that is collected through archaic feedback methods. Through it we can be more sensitive, thus respective, and propel towards better understanding and acceptance of each other in the building of a Smart Nation.
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None of the above examples, all leverages technology, need the beneficiaries to know how to use technology. 
At the end, Humanizing Technology is only one part of the Humanizing of processes and interactions as not all that delivers humanized services to the citizens is technology based.
The beginning of us moving back to the basics of serving the people, by the people, for the people, with or without technology, is not to start with the WHAT and HOW of technology but the WHY of ideas.
  • Daniel Ng
    Daniel Ng
    Exco and Chairman of Membership Committee at Smart Cities Network

    A passionate leader with extensive Asia Pacific experience in general management, marketing, sales, operations, government relations, communications (Internal, PR & AR) and in building teams of professionals for startups, scale-out enterprises and SMBs. Supported businesses from its startup phase of low million dollars target to one that generated US$500 million across APAC, with a highlight of building the Volume Storage Business for IBM Asia Pacific from zero to US$33 million in a year. Developed Initiatives that powered the transformation of skills for Open Source and Big Data - Red Hat Open Source Collaborative Innovation (OSCI) Initiative and Cloudera Big Data Skills Enablement (BASE) Initiative to complement their leadership in technology and solutions. Led companies like IBM, Microsoft, Red Hat, Cloudera in various capacities and lived in Asia Pacific in places like Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China; and Canada, Daniel is fluent in English, Mandarin, Malay and 4 other Chinese dialects. A trusted advisor to organisations like Singapore Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI), MAD Academy and OpenGov Asia; and was mentor to Singapore Management University (SMU).

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