See The World Through The Eyes Of Others

Earth
It’s not only important what we think, but also what and how others see things. 

 
One the things, the folks that work with me frequently hear from me is “Let me put myself in the other person’s shoes for a moment, and give you feedback on that.”
 
We are what we are and not as our customers are, and while we may strive for excellence in customer service, our customers may have completely different notions of what that means.
 
For example, I may think a 24-hour turnaround on something is pretty good given everything on our plate, but when I imagine myself in the customer’s shoes for a moment, I may change that expectation to “We need to get this done by noon today (or sooner)!”
 
People are different, our experiences, our cultures, our context and the way we interpret things. 
 
So when it comes to work or family or even social issues, being compassionate often means seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. 
 
There was an interesting article in the New York Times called “Imaging The Lives Of Others” by psychologist, Paul Bloom. 
 
While he notes the importance to “behold the universe through the eyes of another,” he also says how difficult this really is. 
 
If you haven’t done something, how can you really imagine what it was like, let alone know what it was like for someone else to experience it?
 
Without the access to the particular significant life experience, the duration, the controls (so you can’t just say stop like in an experiment), perhaps a person can never fully know what it’s like. 
 
For example, if you haven’t been through a devastating war, can you truly know what it’s like to be in a foxhole and have the bullets whooshing by your head and the tanks rumbling over it?
 
Yes, we can imagine, but that is probably a far cry!
 
Yet, to really empathize with others, do right by them, and to make good leadership decisions, we most certainly need to at least try to see and experience the world the way others do. 
 
Thinking about the over 805 million hungry people in the world today, it is much more impactful to imagine myself hungry and starving, then just to say the mere fact that these poor people exist.
 
We can probably never know someone’s else pain and suffering the way they do, but through our own experiences, extrapolation from them, and our imagination, we can at least try to elevate ourselves for a purely self-centric universe of one that is of billions (under one G-d), and who need our understanding, compassion, support, and help. 😉
 
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What Does A Robot And A Spouse Have In Common?

This is a pretty cool advance in robotics.

The robot doesn’t just perform tasks, but it interacts with the person–sensing his movements and thereby anticipating his needs.

According to Gizmag, this advanced robot was developed by Cornell’s Personnel Robot Lab.

As you can see in the video, the robot sees the person picking up a pot and moving towards the refrigerator, and the robot “understands” and goes to pull open the fridge door.

In another example, the robot first without anticipating the person moving his coffee cup, pours coffee, spilling it on the table, but then with the special programming, the robot “sees” the person picking up the cup to drink and putting it down, and waits to pour until the cup is in stably in place.

The anticipatory skills of the robot are based on 120 3-D videos in its database of people doing everyday tasks and extrapolating from it to what is occurring around it.

The robot’s predictions of the person’s actions are refined as the person continues to move making the robot’s response that much more in tune and precise with the person it is interacting with.

The less far out in time that the robot has to predict, the more accurate it is: for 1 second out, it is 82% accurate; 3 seconds out, 71% accurate; and 10 seconds out, 57%.

It is pretty incredible that we are able to program a robot to watch and sense similar to the way we do, and to react accordingly.

The challenge will be as in the show Lost In Space, where the Robot is often confounded by illogical or unpredictable human behavior, and frequently, repeats “Does not compute.”

People are not programmed like computers–they experience conflicting and complex thoughts and emotions, behave in unpredictable or seemingly illogical ways, may have difficulty making up their minds in the first place, or may change their minds, even multiple times.

Being a robot in a human world will by necessity mean being adaptable and understanding to changing human moods, whims and desires, and being able to respond quickly and appropriately–sort of like what being married is all about. 😉