As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more ingrained in the workplace, professionals will spend less of their time on tedious, repetitive tasks and more on activities that require specific cognitive skills that machines don’t currently possess. The ability to the nuances of the human experience can largely only be done by actual human beings. However, there are companies that are looking to change that paradigm by introducing the concept of empathy into AI.
Empathy is traditionally viewed as a human characteristic. It involves being able to see something from the perspective of another, proverbially being able to put yourself “in their shoes.” By adopting another person’s viewpoint, even for a moment, it is easier to increase the benefit experienced when two people interact. Often, this is seen as a key to successful customer service outcomes as well as increasing employee satisfaction.
However, empathy isn’t flawless. It requires drawing on your own experiences and memory to assume how someone else is perceiving a situation. Since no two people have the exact same life experience, this means that there can be disconnects between the parties even when a significant amount of effort is put into the interaction.
Additionally, emotions are complex and powerful. Being able to assess the emotional state of another person accurately is incredibly beneficial, as it allows you to adjust your approach based on how they are feeling. But picking up on certain cues can be a challenge as different signals mean different things to different people.
Empathy in Technology
While an AI system can’t necessarily “feel,” that doesn’t mean it couldn’t potentially assess someone’s emotional state and use that information to adapt its responses. Sensor technology, machine vision, and audio analysis can measure specific signals that indicate particular emotions in real-time, giving an AI the ability to mimic empathy.
For example, an EKG can measure a person’s heart rate variations, helping to pinpoint increased levels that may indicate excitement, fear, or boredom. Changes in a person’s voice, such as tone, volume, or cadence, can signal anything from relaxation to anger. Facial expressions, no matter how minor, may also provide information about a person’s emotional state.
By integrating the proper sensors and technologies into an AI, chatbots could adjust their approach to a customer inquiry based on their perceived emotional state.
In fact, some of the technology already exists. There are solutions that allow call center representatives can receive data from an AI that alerts them to changes in the customer’s voice that suggest a shift in how they feel, empowering the employee to make certain adjustments quickly to de-escalate problems.
Over time, empathy, something we perceive as a human trait, may be integrated into AI and other technologies, allowing machines to mimic a level of emotional intelligence that was previously impossible.
If you are interested in learning more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your business needs today and see how our expertise can benefit you.