NWU professor discusses the struggle to humanise information systems

Belinda Bantham -- Tue, 08/01/2017 - 15:21

NWU professor discusses the struggle to humanise information systems

Prof Nehemia Mavetera, a professor in 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.

The theme of his lecture was “Computer Information Systems Persistent Struggles for Humanism: An Antithesis”.

During his lecture, Prof Mavetera drew attention to the successes that organisations all over the world have enjoyed due to the introduction of mechanised systems since the advent of information systems technology.

However, he noted that as a result of these successes and in a quest to achieve optimal efficiency and profits, organisations were raising expectations to a point where mechanised systems are now expected to completely take over the role of humans.

During the well-attended lecture, Prof Mavetera posed a question to the audience on whether they thought computerised systems would replace the role of humans at some point in the future.

Prof Mavetera offered this stance to his question, for which he received a standing ovation from the audience: “In the research done by researchers and academics - both nationally and internationally - there was a realisation that being human 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, they are better suited to respond to varying and unexpected situations than a computerised system.”.

Prof Mavetera holds a BScHons degree in engineering from the University of Zimbabwe, a master’s degree in geo-information management from the University of Twente in the Netherlands, and a PhD from the University of Pretoria.

 Prof Nehemia Mavetera receives a certificate from Prof Dan Kgwadi, the NWU’s vice-chancellor, after presenting his inaugural