Tag Archives: Wired Magazine


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  • Six Areas that Artificial Emotional Intelligence will Revolutionize

Article written by Alain de Botton

Wired Magazine (UK Edition – November 2015 (21st October, 2015)


  • Has Artificial Intelligence Outsmarted our Emotions?

Article written by Meng Li

Wired Magazine



In today’s world, due to the rapid development of digital technologies, many of us have had already a chance to interact with the ‘everyday use’ appliances (gadgets, home-designated devices) or even bigger, more technologically-complicated machines – robots, which not only perform their ‘core’ tasks, but also may add some unique values to these broadly defined relations. The devices are becoming more and more artificially intelligent.

Meng Li, the author of the article “Has Artificial Intelligence Outsmarted Our Emotions?”, stresses that the history of the relationship with technology is simple – we purchase machines and devices that we expected to fulfill certain needs. Moreover, we interact with technology with predictable interchange. What is more, Meng Li is also of the opinion that the technology companies must recognize the connections people are forming with these ‘intelligent’ devices, and create procedures to develop products accordingly – “because the devices that will prevail are those that not only please us, but those that we also hope to please”. What is also important to stress is the fact that while thinking about the machines of the future – and to be more specific, while concentrating on the issue of Artificial Intelligence (AI) – a vast majority of people puts the emphasis on the performance of rational executive tasks. However, according to Alain de Botton (Wired Magazine: “Six Areas that Artificial Emotional Intelligence will Revolutionize”) another, more complex scenario should be demonstrated here – a scenario which bases on the aspects of emotions and psychological dimensions of existence. It is time to focus on Artificial Emotional Intelligence (AEI).

In everyday life people make a lot of mistakes. We have problems with making decisions, regardless of the type of obstacles we are facing. What also has to be stressed here is the issue of emotionally wise decisions – they cannot be treated as lucky decisions. We have to remember that even though we are not infallible, our brains are unique, extraordinary. The emotionally wise decisions are the result of the impressive performances of our brains and they are therefore logically also forms of intelligence that can be replicated and improved upon artificially, with the help of microchips and code. Nowadays, we are able to conclude that this very specific type of scarcity – the scarcity of wisdom will soon be vanishing. The emotional intelligence will be in the center of attention. Alain de Botton emphasizes that AEI will revolutionize the following six areas of life:

  • self-knowledge
  • education
  • news media
  • art
  • shopping
  • relationships

AEI will provide us the self-knowledge we need – it will map our brains and alert us in good time as to the reality of our psychological lives. Furthermore, we will know what job we should be doing, but also we will know whom we should try to form a relationship with, and how. Mr. de Botton emphasizes that “AEI will give us a picture of our inner selves which will stop us making catastrophic errors on the basis of an inability to interpret our emotional functioning and psychological potential”. Moreover, AEI will help us to evolve towards the best versions of ourselves. What has to be also stressed is the fact that with AEI we will have the opportunity to know how to lead people to information that is genuinely crucial for them and their nations. AEI will guarantee better media and, in turn, more democratic politics. AEI will also stand for encoding consumer intelligence – we will have the possibility to check our decisions on an AEI machine. The machine will inform us how we can be persuaded and motivated to purchase goods and services, taking into consideration our true needs. Finally, the relationship with the emotional intelligence machines will provide us with access to the friend’s wisdom when we would most need it.

In my opinion, the biggest obstacle here will be connected with the broadly defined aspect of trust. People are starting to engage in the relationships with machines, highly advanced devices that currently help us in setting and achieving specified goals, but also in producing and analyzing the results, all preformed using human-like feedback. Furthermore, what also has to be emphasized is the fact that the research has shown that even though people prefer robots which seem capable of conveying some degree of human emotion – facial features, interaction, human-like gestures – they are repulsed by robots that look and move almost human-like. What will be crucial in the AEI case is the broadly defined balance – adding human characteristics through AEI design is only appealing so long as the technology maintains its honest, outwardly robotic qualities. All things considered, both the software and hardware are taking on human tendencies what has a significant impact on the transformation, on the development of relationship between people and machines. Human-like gestures, the whole interaction helps to establish the sense of trust. People tend to seek for the acceptance and validation; feedback from the machines, however it is crucial to remember that this emotional interplay may be only accomplished with the very real power of artificially intelligent technology.

What if machines would take over and become versions of very devious, powerful people?


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