Career Tips 10/05/2018 by "Natasha Radford"

The Human-Centric Coder – How Emerging Technologies are Creating a New Breed of Developer

emerging technologies

By now, everyone will have heard someone gripe about what technology or emerging technologies are doing to humanity. Whether you believe it yourself or you’re surrounded by those who do, it is fair to look at the way we communicate today and see that kids (and many adults) are hiding behind screens and losing some of the valuable human interaction. Today, people can avoid learning social skills that were once naturally acquired when we were forced to engage with everyone in person.

Of the people most criticised for de-humanising the world, it is the tech professionals designing these platforms that many see as obstacles to human interaction. What’s interesting, however, is that emerging technologies, specifically AI and chatbots, are causing a new skill-set to emerge within the developer community, one that is required to be more human-centric than any developers before them.

Emerging Technologies; Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots

Chatbots present an opportunity for companies to provide a more personalised service to their customers. They could be used to offer information and learn about customers needs before putting customers through to customer service, or they could even be used to replace your physical girlfriend, as we’ve seen with Rinko from Love Plus in Japan. This bot listens to you talk, asks how you’re feeling, kisses, flirts and makes jokes; causing many suitors to find companionship with the bot.

Whatever purpose bots are serving, the design of their interaction is the same. Chatbots are designed to replicate personal human interaction; create closeness and intimacy to build a relationship. In most cases, this is simply to add value to customers and build brand loyalty, but as we’ve seen, this can go much further into unique friendships.  

Enter the New Breed of Developer

Understanding the requirement of a chatbot to be engaging, often humorous and fun to chat to, think for a moment about how someone would go about designing this. Programmers today are required to be more human-centric than ever. Part of their role is to understand the way that people interact with each other and program persona’s for AI and chatbots to engage with humans in a way that is disarming, making the user feel comfortable to hand over information and interact with this artificial intelligence.

Unlike designing a user interface, much of the development is about the persona of the bot. These developers need to design a personality; otherwise, these platforms are nothing more than a questionnaire. This new breed of developer has to ask themselves:

  • What kind of personality would the bot have?
  • How would the bot interact with people?
  • What questions would the bot ask?
  • What would be its script?
  • How would people respond to the bot?

Once the script and the persona have been written, they don’t go straight to coding. They must hit the streets or run around the office testing out the script, learning how people respond and tweaking their persona to appeal to people. It is this part of the puzzle in chatbot creation that takes a profession which has traditionally been kept behind closed doors and forcing them to go out and learn about human interaction, then learn how to code it.

This calls for a new breed of developer with both excellent coding skills and equal amounts of social skill, making them curious and eager to learn about people and how to design technical interactions to build relationships with them.

If you’re a developer working within emerging technologies, or a company seeking the skill-sets of the future, we can help. Visit our emerging technologies specialisation page here. Call us today on 1300 452 986 or connect with us via our contact page.