Artificial Emotional Intelligence

alain de botton - The Futures AgencyIn November, WIRED UK publishes its fourth annual trends report, a standalone magazine in which the magazine’s network of expert writers and influencers predicts what’s coming next.

No surprise to us, Artificial Intelligence is mentioned as one of the biggest trends for the coming year. WIRED published a preview article of The WIRED World in 2016 by Alain de Botton, “Six areas that artificial emotional intelligence will revolutionise”.

In his article, Alain is expanding on the current use, knowledge and understanding of Artificial Intelligence as we know it today and adds the emotional and psychological dimensions of existence to the technological mix:

“When people think of how machines will help us in the future, the emphasis naturally falls on the performance of rational executive tasks. But one should also envisage a far more exciting scenario, one in which computational power is also directed at the emotional and psychological dimensions of existence. It is time to imagine not merely AI but also, and even more significantly, what we here call AEI: Artificial Emotional Intelligence.”

For the ones using Intelligent Personal Assistant (IPA) apps like Lark, for example, understand that this step is very close to become reality pretty soon. The interaction is as seamless as in Her, the movie. However, the user communicates having conversations with the app like you would have with people in a messaging app (examples below). Can easily be linked to voice as well.

Lark 1 - The Futures AgencyLark 2 - The Futures Agency

One of our predictions for next year is that the market is going to be flooded with Intelligent Assistant apps as the first wave of Human Intelligence Technology will enter our lives on a day-to-day level.

Check the current Intelligent Assistance landscape in Silicon Valley for a blink of what’s coming… (chart by VentureBeat)


But back to the Artificial Emotional Intelligence article by Alain de Boton and his closing note:

“There are currently some big worries over AI: what if machines take over that are really versions of very cunning, powerful people? But the cure to these is to focus on what sort of intelligence AI should emulate and enhance. Increasing emotional intelligence is key to all that we most value: empathy, creativity, kindness and generosity. Today, the major impediments to progress are all psychological. It’s mainly the flaws in our emotional capacities that ruin existence. But we’ve not yet addressed how to make ourselves more mature. It’s been left to the hazards of individual experience. AEI will use technology to reduce the randomness.”

This is becoming very interesting… I recommend you read the full article and the Six areas that artificial emotional intelligence will revolutionise. A MUST READ!


Check out ‘Redefining the relationship of man and machine’ – an audio-visual meditation by Gerd Leonhard.

In this unique film, Futurist Gerd Leonhard reads his chapter in the 2015 book ‘The Future of Business’, entitled ‘Redefining the relationship of man and machine’. In his piece, Gerd addresses the key issues and opportunities that will arise from an increasing convergence of humanity and technology, touching on related topics such as AI, Digital Ethics, reductionism, technological unemployment and machine-thinking.

Posted by Rudy de Waele aka @mtrends /



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