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The evolution of technology and innovation – an insightful conversation

Dr. Vishal Sikka, CEO and Managing Director, Infosys, and Dr. Alan Kay, a foundational researcher in computer science, recently sat down to discuss innovation and the evolution of technology culture.

Kay observed that over the decades, the goal of advancing the human ability to think further than previously believed possible has not, in fact, advanced much. Our inclination to make marginal improvements, as opposed to quantum leaps, is fundamental to the human condition. And this significantly hinders innovation. To this, Vishal adds that our brains are wired to solve problems that are right in front of us, not to seek things that don’t yet exist. He continues to say that design thinking is fundamentally an approach to help us systematically find things that are not there; that could make things better.

After initial resistance, people have largely learnt to embrace the inevitable ubiquity of technology. With this revelation, Kay says that “now is the time to embrace learning, failure, change, and actually think about computing not as something done by the other, or the person in the back room, but as the sort of fundamental DNA in the new context of your life.” Sikka concurred saying: “In the end, all these technologies, all these capabilities—our ability to alter, to learn, to improve ourselves—come down to us being able to find our own unique wisdoms, and nobody else can teach that. It is my understanding that this is the greater purpose of technology.”

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