NWU Professor deliberates on the struggle to humanise information systems

Issued by North West University
Johannesburg, Aug 2, 2017

Nehemia Mavetera, Professor of Information Systems and Director of the school of Economic and Decision Sciences at the North-West University's (NWU's) campus in Mahikeng, recently delivered his inaugural lecture under the theme Computer Information Systems Persistent Struggles for Humanism: An Antithesis.

Professor Mavetera, in his lecture, drew attention to the successes that organisations all over the world have enjoyed due to the introduction of mechanised systems since the breakthrough of information systems technology. However, drawing on the negative consequences of such systems, Professor Mavetera said noted that as a result of these successes, organisations along with their executives, in a quest to achieve optimal efficiency and profits, higher expectations are added the capabilities of these systems to a point where they are now expected to completely play the roles of humans.

During the well-attended lecture, Professor Mavetera posed a question to the audience on whether they thought at some point in the future they thought computerised systems would replace the role of humans. Without giving any thought to the responses to come from the audience, Professor Mavetera submitted his views to his question.

He said: "In the research done both abroad and domestically by researchers and academics, there was a realisation that humans are more about sense-making and decision-making than finding similarities. It was noted that information systems, despite their intended role to replace humans, would fail to completely eradicate human beings because humans are 'more flexible, adaptable, and creative' and as a result, humans are better suited to respond to varying and unexpected situations than a computerised system", to resounding cheers and applause from the audience in attendance.

Professor Nehemia Mavetera holds a Bachelor of Sciences Honours degree in Engineering from the University of Zimbabwe, a Master's degree in Geo-information management from the University of Twente in Netherlands and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree from the University of Pretoria.