Artificial intelligence must not only be able to think rationally, but it must also have emotional intelligence to understand how we feel and act accordingly.
The human brain is our model when it comes to designing artificial intelligence systems, neural networks and machine learning. The explanation is simple: the brain is the most advanced known tool we know to solve problems and with the brain as a model, we have created tools that help us solve more advanced and complex problems than the human mind can solve. But there are still a number of important areas in which human intelligence is still superior to those artificially created and I am referring to emotional intelligence.
The history of the chatbots It goes back to the 60s when the famous bot Eliza from Weizenbaum tricked some people who thought they were talking to a real person. Subsequently, the virtual agents have developed and have acquired more and more capacity to understand certain contents and respond more adequately. This would lead us to ask ourselves, can machines reach the level of the human being?
The truth is that when we talk about emotional intelligence, there have not been many advances in the last 60 years. The chatbots better known as Alexa, Cortana or Siri can not read between the lines, can not understand nuances or emotional patterns. There are even more advanced AI models that lack the ability to manage contextual information, just as people do. Having a virtual assistant like Google Home or Alexa at home can also be very useful, but Alexa does not pay much attention to you or the variables of your daily situation. Alexa will only make your home more intelligent and automate your day-to-day tasks. That is all.
For virtual assistants, our expressions, gestures, the tone we use or our body language have no meaning. Personally, I am convinced that it is in emotional intelligence that lies the true strength of the artificial intelligence of the future, because it is difficult, or perhaps impossible, to establish a close relationship with someone – or something – that can not understand or interpret our states of encouragement and emotions. That is why I think we have to focus on developing the emotional coefficient in Artificial Intelligence.
For companies that sell products or services it is essential to maintain good relations with customers and strengthen their loyalty. When the client gets a bad response or does not feel understood or cared for by an assistant or virtual agent, I want the company to solve their communication deficiencies. If this problem is not solved, the most usual is that you end up going to another company.
If the system does not understand our intentions, we will not value its rational intelligence even if it is much higher. On the other hand, if the system constantly learns from our interactions, contextualizes and reads intentions, decides what is important to remember from the conversation and can answer questions that are not based on words, it will be much more useful to us. In addition, our level of satisfaction will increase when they empathize with us, when an employee (even if it is digital) is happy that we accumulate loyalty points or transmits his regret when we lose or steal our credit card.
The artificial intelligence of the future is not the best only because it solves problems, but because it is the one that will make us feel better.
Enrique Cuarental, expert in cognitive intelligence in IPsoft