Will Artificial Intelligence be Loyal?

The death of my sister was not a valid reason to postpone my SAA flight to London, according to a Voyager agent. 100 000 miles disappeared just like that. It was less about the miles. But the inhumanity of someone telling me that the death of my sister is not a good enough reason to postpone a trip. And why am I still using SAA years later?!!!

I have been pondering the concept of loyalty. Loyalty means “feeling of strong support for someone or something”. This moment of reflection was triggered by an irritating exchange with #SAA (FlySAA Care) after a flight to Durban was unceremoniously cancelled, but they did not bother to exhaust all efforts and the contact numbers they request us to provide in order to inform me of the fact. They had a cheek to say they tried my cell and landline. Unfortunately with call logs, one can see when someone has called or not. There are other means such as texting and email. But instead of apologising, they callously make this my shortcoming.

As a business person myself, I can appreciate that as businesses, despite our highest and noblest intentions, we sometimes fall short. The ideal which should be drummed into every employee, from the shop floor to the CEO, is to handle dissatisfaction of clients with respect and humanity. The clients are not always right. But as businesses, we are not always perfect. So the wise middle is to handle clients with care. When they realise that the fault was with them, they less likely to be defensive and displace their embarrassment on you. Also as a business, your treatment of a client influences whether they become your ambassador or your worst PR!

I think sometimes we are misguided in our loyalty to individuals, businesses, parties and things that really do not SEE us. Respect us. We are just a means to an end. The right sounding words are said. But the behaviour doesn’t support the words. Why do we subject ourselves to such disrespect? Allegiances should be reciprocated. When they are one sided, ”Who is the Fool in this equation?” The height of being brainwashed. In the Age of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, are we going to programme this dangerous human flaw into them? Because if not, they will certainly rule us, eventually.

I feel that pain of Inhumanity about the comment about my sister’s death most times I enter an SAA aircraft. And yet I still say it is out ‘Loyalty’ to our national carrier. And even when the then CEO (soon ‘fired’) gave instruction that the miles / ticket should be put on hold until after the funeral, that was never done. Sent from pillar to post until I gave up. Who is the Fool indeed.😢😢😢


Written in 2017

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