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December 8, 2023 - 4 minutes

Humanizing AI: The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Artificial Intelligence

Yes, emotional intelligence plays a role in artificial intelligence.

Juliette Erath - Tech Writer

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Yes, you read that right–we’re talking about humanizing artificial intelligence today. Although many people like to think of artificial intelligence as a completely separate entity from humans, and more specifically the human mind, the reality is that artificial intelligence and emotional intelligence are closely linked and have a bigger effect on tech than you might initially assume. 

Although these two seem largely unrelated (artificial intelligence deals with machines and emotional intelligence with humans, right?), just a bit of focus will help us see how they are intertwined, especially when it comes to tech. 

Before we dive into the role that emotional intelligence plays in artificial intelligence technology, let’s first define the two and make sure you’re totally clear on what each is. 

What is Artificial Intelligence? 

You’ve heard of robots taking over the world through artificial intelligence and while that makes for a great movie, AI technology isn’t quite there yet; artificial intelligence technology allows machines to think like humans, training them using natural language processing, machine learning, deep learning, and more to recognize human patterns and then mimic them. Because these machines are not human, they do have different risks and potential problem areas, but they also don’t need to take breaks or sleep, which can immensely raise the efficiency and productivity of a company if they choose to use artificial intelligence. 

Artificial intelligence technology is so valuable because it:

  • Automates repetitive tasks: a machine’s ability to take on routine or repetitive tasks, therefore freeing up humans for more engaging responsibilities, lessens the workload for humans, in addition to providing more accurate results. 

  • Can handle immense amounts of data: artificial intelligence allows us to both collect and process large amounts of data that humans simply cannot handle, which gives us additional information for little work. 

  • Centralizes information: instead of hunting around for a patient with a similar diagnosis, doctors can use AI to find other cases and save valuable time; the speed with which AI can look for trends and patterns has transformed our world. 

What is Emotional Intelligence? 

On the other side of things, we have emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage the emotions of both you and the people around you; no, this doesn’t mean to control or manipulate your friends–on the contrary, it means being able to deal with conflict and differences in a productive manner. There are a lot of signs that display a person’s ability to manage their emotions, but these five are the most commonly associated with emotional intelligence:

  • Social skills: being able to both create and maintain healthy social relationships is a key part of emotional intelligence.

  • Decision-making: people who possess emotional intelligence will be able to make responsible choices and take responsibility for their outcome, even if it’s not ideal. 

  • Self-awareness: emotionally intelligent people will be able to recognize how they’re feeling and take appropriate actions to handle conflict and admit fault when necessary.

  • Self-regulation: being able to control how they manifest their feelings and emotions, especially in high stress situations, is a telltale sign of emotional intelligence. 

  • Empathy: those who can both understand and appreciate someone else’s experience show empathy, a main quality of those possessing emotional intelligence. 

Now that you know what both artificial intelligence and emotional intelligence are, do you know why we’ve put this article together? They may seem like two entirely different things, but they both are playing massive roles in the tech industry as artificial intelligence use becomes increasingly widespread. 

To better understand how they come together, let’s explore the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace (hint: start thinking about how the introduction of AI haA changed this!). 

The Role of Emotional Intelligence in a Tech Workplace 

As you can probably tell from our quick description above, emotional intelligence plays a crucial role in the workplace; the biggest factor that decides how a person feels about their job is usually the people surrounding them and any conflicts that arise. And in the field of tech where teamwork and emotional intelligence are sometimes put on the back burner, prioritizing a healthy workplace has never been more important. 

Why? Emotionally intelligence workplaces:

  • Improves communication within teams: tech teams are no longer limited to just a developer and a designer; between cyber professionals, product managers, and marketers, there are so many different voices to be heard and people working on different parts of the same project. If there is tension or a simple lack of communication on the team, it can lead to lots of issues. 

  • Foster more creativity and innovation: everyone wants to feel heard and in a field like tech where innovation is around every corner, a productive and collaborative environment can have incredible effects. 

  • Make better decisions: tech professionals can sometimes forget about the human on the other side of the product and a renewed focus on the emotional aspect of the product can help improve the overall final result. 

Makes sense, right? But how do emotional and artificial intelligence come together to truly improve the workplace? By bringing together both sides of this coin. 

Artificial Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence

The two are related, but not quite similar; they also both have significant effects on the workplace and when their unique strengths are brought together, the future of artificial intelligence seems incredibly bright. Let’s discuss: 

  • Artificial intelligence can use data to make bias-free decisions that reflect the best possible outcome, thanks to the vast amount of data it’s consumed and processed; this decision lacks the emotional side, however. Emotional intelligence can bring the user and client to the forefront of this conversation, reminding leaders to always keep the user and their needs in mind. 

  • Emotional intelligence possesses the key to connecting on a personal level with the rest of the team; artificial intelligence is simply incapable of making personal connections with humans and teams will feel this lack of connection when it comes to working together. 

  • Using data and what it’s told, artificial intelligence can predict certain outcomes or flag low performing employees, but it can’t recognize someone in need of assistance or take into consideration special circumstances that may be affecting someone’s performance. 

We could go on and on because for practically every advantage that artificial intelligence brings to the table, emotional intelligence is right there with another benefit that can make what artificial intelligence provides even richer and more valuable. As you move forward with your artificial intelligence journey and incorporate it into your daily life, make sure you keep the importance of emotional intelligence in mind and, of course, always be on the lookout for what we can do to make AI technology even better. 

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