The Human Element

Can a robot build your website? Do you really need a human to be involved in the process? Isn’t everything just an algorithm these days anyway?


Kind of, but not really.


robot_webdesignThere can certainly be a formula to social media, as in, which types of posts give commonly good or bad results, but when it comes to actually generating content, the human brain has potential far beyond what any computer can do.


There is a distinct difference between “good enough” and “good” and that difference, I believe, is human involvement. Everyone’s heard the argument that a hundred monkeys in a room with typewriters will eventually produce Hamlet, but why waste all that time and energy when a single human can do the same thing in a more efficient manner? There are many things that computers can do more efficiently—mechanical automation to replace certain human tasks is a fantastic result of innovation and industrialization, and ultimately will leave human minds free to engage in less repetitive tasks.


However, creative tasks such as web design and social media cannot yet be efficiently replicated by computers, which are not cognizant and cannot engage in creative thinking beyond what has been programmed into them—therefore, they’re limited. Computers can mimic creative thinking, but they’re confined to particular rules and cannot go outside of the box, so to speak. There is no true understanding of the creative process.


One of my past blogs talks about the difference between artistic and functional websites and is a good companion read to this post. Some of the artistic examples I mention are works of art that a computer could not generate (again, perhaps randomly, and perhaps after many years of experimentation). The sublime lies in what people create! Computers and machines help us get there faster and better, but ultimately, it’s what’s in our brains that makes the difference.


Eventually, technology may evolve, become sentient, or at least gain the ability to be genuinely creative instead of mimicking creativity, but at least in 2015, that’s not currently a reality. The best work comes from trained or practiced artists, professionals, and innovative individuals, and that is enough reason to rely on a human to build your website, to make it more than just good enough.


Related posts: What you Need in a Website: Artistic vs. Functional, What’s in a Name?