This is a dangerous attitude. Unfortunately, it finds friends among many technical people. All the more dangerous is to put the customer in a position of being the object of business. It might appear to be efficient in the short run, because machines will be subtle enough to copy human decision logic, and influence it to the advantage of suppliers. However, in the object role, consumers will see the development of technologies as being a restriction upon their autonomy and freedom. An underlying rebellion against technology is the consequence. Making the customers an object of business, focusing on monitoring and influencing customer behavior, is a threat to the investment in that technology.
Let us – to the contrary – briefly imagine a world where technological development is used to empower and enable customers, citizens, and individuals to improve their own lives in their social environment. The initial decades of the internet have been an example of how a new technology is embraced by customers and users, because it brings a lot of value to the individual.
Technology must be an enabler to the individual, and growth is what follows. If technology makes the individual an object, and is used to observe, control and manipulate the citizen, it will create two kinds of obstacles. First, customers will not take over the part of the process chain. This is a cost problem in the long run. Secondly, customers will develop resistance against new technologies. This, in the long run, is a problem of return on investment. It has explosive power. A wise investment policy should avoid it.