Humans and Machines – An Interdependent Relationship

The Founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, was recently quoted in saying that “humans must some day merge with machines in order to avoid becoming obsolete”. A bold but not unexpected statement made by the man who turned electric vehicles into the must-have of recent years. But is it necessarily true? We explore the notion from an outsourcing point of view where human labour has become the silent driving factors behind some of the world’s largest companies.

Latest Ways of Outsourcing

When asked to think of outsourcing, one cannot be faulted for immediately imagining hundreds of people in a room divided into cramped cubicles, tapping away at their keyboards or speaking into headsets to customers from all around the world. It is a workforce predominantly driven by humans housed under a single roof.

Office Cubicle Illustration

A typical scene at a BPO company


Now kill that image in your head for outsourcing has taken on a new look, thanks to the advancements in technology and the aid of machines. Let’s first consider the drawbacks of housing an entire workforce of humans in one space. The utility bills alone would add a considerable amount to the cost. And then there’s also the unpredictability of illnesses or emergencies that may force members of your team out of the workplace.

Man vs. Machine

The most “straightforward” solution that comes to mind to avoid such issues would then be to just rely on machines to do the work. However, even that may not be the most reliable solution. Of course, you can teach a computer to clean up a database of over 100,000 names. But what happens when you need to teach it to perform tasks that would require a more “human” type of cognition. The issue with computers is that they operate according to a set of rules or algorithms and there are just some things that just can’t be standardised. For example, can you really program an AI to detect when a violent act is being committed? What about dealing with emotional customers over the phone?

Humans and Machine

Humans and Machine


The logical way to approach this problem is then to marry the two – have humans and machines work together to execute work faster than a human can and cover a wider range of tasks than what machines are limited to. Machines can be there for the preliminary stages of executing certain types work but it will always require a human touch to execute it completely and accurately. Machines can also be relied on for the extra security that perhaps humans may not be the best at. Unfortunately, humans have been known to act out of personal gain but machines won’t. Machines can also accelerate the delivery and execution of projects by streamlining processes so that humans can work much faster than usual. However, at the heart of every machine is always going to be a human teaching and programming it to do what it needs to do.

There is an ecosystem where humans are improved by machines, and machines wouldn’t even exist or survive without humans. Supahands realised the importance of that relationship when it came to executing work for our clients. With our own in-house platform, we have managed to shorten a 5-step process of getting data between our clients and our SupaAgents to a simple 3-step process. API solutions also helps to alleviate security concerns sharing fragments of information with SupaAgents – just enough for them to carry out the work, but not enough to violate any personal data laws.


Watch our combination of humans and tech in action and start your outsourcing experience with us.

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