Humans and Technology: Understanding the Sceptical User



Dr Eva Savelsberg, SVP: Logistics Division, and Matthew Wittmeier, INFORM, Aachen, Germany


Editor's note: INFORM have provided several high-quality papers in recent editions, and this paper continues the theme they have constructed around the interaction between humans and technology, humanity itself and great technological change, and where the human fits in to the coming world of digital advancements. Dr Eve Savelsberg, this time joined by Matthew Wittemeier, writes with a clarity that speaks both to the relative novice and experienced academic alike, and with Eva and Matthew's joint focus on the social and cultural events that have been attendant in technological evolution, the paper carries a depth and resonance which underpins how our industry is impacting sectors wider than just the terminal sector.  

The world is moving forward quickly. What was once science fiction (the internet, robots, artificial intelligence, etc), is increasing commonplace. Underlying these innovations are challenges around both technology itself and how humans interact with new technology. Understanding both is crucial to addressing why users are resistant to technological innovations.

Equally, it is paramount in fostering a path forward so that new technology solutions can drive value instead of fl oundering in the hands of skeptical users.

“Come here. I want to see you.” These were the fi rst words communicated over the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell to his assistant in 1876. After that first call, Bell penned a letter to his father in which he noted, “… the day is coming when [telephone cables] will be laid on to houses just like water or gas – and friends converse with each other without leaving home.” Despite its revolutionary ability…

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