Why We Believe That People Are Better Than Machines
In this world of smartphones at our fingertips, Siri at your beck and order, and the inevitability of self-driving cars, it seems like machines and artificial intelligence are taking over just about every aspect of our lives.
Machines play an important role in our modern lives—making our lives easier in some cases, and more complicated in others. From a creative and emotional perspective, it’s evident humans won’t be getting replaced by machines anytime soon (phew).
Handcrafted goods, like our hand-knit weighted blankets or some handmade wooden table tend to be more valuable and desirable due to the inherent human elements—passion, character, and substance.
People are better at creating art and music, given how our society thrives on creative expression. This is due to our ability to connect with each other in unique ways, show true emotion, and constantly redefine what it means to have fun.
Did you know?
Hand-knitting goes all the way back to Egypt, around 1000 A.D., where remnants of colorfully intricate blue and white cotton socks have been discovered. Looks like ancient Egyptians were fans of being stylishly cozy, too.
In this world of smartphones at our fingertips, Siri at your beck and order, and the inevitability of self-driving cars, it seems like machines and artificial intelligence are taking over just about every aspect of our lives. However, there are some things that humans simply do better and will do better for the foreseeable future. From creativity to craftsmanship, the brains and hands of people are better suited for many forms of production, creation and execution.
People Do Handcrafted Better
While machines definitely can make blankets, sweaters, and quilts, they do not have the same appeal as that of a carefully handcrafted product. Handcrafted goods—from apparel to woodworking, made by craftspeople, add a touch of care and character that machines fail to replicate. Artisanally crafted goods may take longer to create, but are well worth the wait. When machines start to mass-produce these items, they become more generic and less unique.
Imagine if the tag on your favorite sweater read, “machine-made by a robot”, rather than “hand-sewn with love from Sally”. Which makes you feel more warm and fuzzy and more importantly, special? That’s why we hand-knit each and every one of our blankets. Whether it’s the Tree Napper with our eucalyptus-based tree fabric, the ultra-plush Cotton Napper, or the O.G. Classic Napper made of organic cotton, all of them are human-made and knit by hand, one at a time.
People Do Art Better
Although machines and robots are able to replicate pictures or photographs they have “seen” before, people are clearly better suited to use the right sides of their brains and perform creatively at a higher level. Our ability to create art, whether in the form of paintings, sculptures, or carvings on the wall, has been an important part of humankind since the Prehistoric era. Art is a beautiful way to creatively express yourself, and machine-made art does not have the same appeal to it. Machines or robots cannot tell the story of their inspiration, cannot create little flaws that accidentally make it better, and cannot use their imaginations (because they don’t have any). We’ll take human-created art every time, and once more.
People Do Connection Better
While there are a few so-called “sociable robots” out there that have been designed to mimic human emotions, we’ll go with talking to an actual person. Human connection has been a pillar of society for thousands of years; we always want to feel a sense of belonging, like we are part of a group. Eye contact is an important part of connection as we tend not to trust people (or machines) who can’t look us in the eye. Although machines can be created to respond with emotions, people recognize that these aren’t true emotions. Oh and they’re lacking a crucial emotion: empathy. We, as humans, crave connection, which is why loneliness is as detrimental to our wellbeing as obesity. Our health and happiness depend on being with, connecting with and regularly interacting with other people, even if it’s just a handful of loyal friends or family.
People Make Music Better
Making music is another skill/talent that machines are technically able to do, but people tend to do better. Music that is composed by artificial intelligence machines and their algorithms may have the technical abilities and the clean-sounding notes, but will always lack the soul and substance ingrained in human-made music. If machines start “making” our music, our ears will be forced to endure a predictable, unemotional and formulaic excuse for artistic expression. No more favorite bands to idolize and croon over, no posters of sexy singers hung on bedroom walls, and no genre-challenging artists pushing the envelope. Artistic expression as it pertains to music and performance can’t be predicted or fully replicated. It just happens, and that’s the beauty of it.
Photo by Anderson W Rangel on Unsplash
People Do Relaxation Better
This one is a no-brainer. Can you imagine a machine hanging out by the pool or kicking their feet up and chilling on the couch? Relaxation is one of the fundamental necessities of human life. Some workaholics may be able to get away with avoiding relaxation for some time, but it’ll catch up with them eventually. We’re big proponents of R&R, as evidenced by our passion for comforting weighted blankets. Some benefits of relaxation that machines definitely can’t replicate? Relaxation can lower blood pressure, relieve chronic pain or tension, and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Relaxation or self-care can look and feel different for everybody. Some may love taking a little time to themselves, while others may enjoy being around others and connecting. No matter how you slice it, the ability to relax is something that we should engage in more often. After all, we wouldn’t trade our ME time for the world, let alone hand it over to machines.
People Do Fun Better
Along the same lines as relaxing, machines aren’t able to experience fun in the same way that people do, let alone at all… at least to our knowledge. Yes, machines and artificial intelligence can be programmed to display emotions, they may be able to appear as if they’re having. However, the benefits of having fun are emotionally more gratifying for humans. When we laugh or enjoy ourselves, our stress hormone, cortisol, is reduced. Balancing our cortisol leads to better health, better sleep, and better energy. Other benefits of having fun include getting a boost in energy, feeling happier, and being more equipped to cope with the hard stuff. Again, everyone’s versions of fun differ; someone’s night of puzzle-solving may be another person’s pick-up game of soccer. To each their own, just enjoy what you do!