The relationship between AI and emotional intelligence

By Nadia Batok* – MEER

Exploring goals and boundaries

The rise of artificial intelligence has brought about many exciting advances and improvements in our lives, and also raised questions about what it means to be human. The increasing ability of AI systems to perform tasks that were once the exclusive domain of humans has led to a growing interest in the importance of emotional intelligence. Emotions help us to empathize with others, to cope with challenges, to express ourselves and to enjoy life. AI systems may be able to imitate or recognize human emotions, but they cannot truly feel or understand them. AI is a game of machines and technology it builds the emotional competencies of individuals and there is no such role of AI in building personal development. EQ (Emotional intelligence) means to understand, manage and use your feelings to reduce stress, communicate effectively. Emotions and intelligence together as emotional intelligence is essentially different way to be smart and have capacity to be aware of control and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.

Components of emotional intelligence

  • Self-awareness: when we are self-aware, we recognize our strengths and weaknesses, as well as how we react to situations and people. This self-awareness enhances our interactions with others and makes us more effective communicators.
  • Self-regulation: emotionally intelligent individuals who possess self-awareness can also regulate their emotions. They have the ability to manage and control their emotional responses, leading to better emotional stability.
  • Self-management: self-management involves taking charge of one’s life, being proactive, assum-ing responsibility, and making decisions that contribute to personal growth and development.
  • Empathy: people with empathy and compassion can readily understand and relate to others’ emo-tions. They excel at providing support and comfort, fostering connections based on mutual under-standing and respect.
  • Motivation: those with high emotional intelligence exhibit strong motivation, resilience, and op-timism. They find ways to derive enjoyment from life, even in challenging circumstances.
  • Social skills: emotionally intelligent individuals genuinely care for and respect others, enabling them to establish positive relationships and interact harmoniously with those around them.
  • Relationship management: This entails the process of building and maintaining favorable rela-tionships with others. People with high emotional intelligence excel at fostering positive interac-tions and connections.

Some of the differences between EI and AI

Emotional intelligence is related to humans and their emotions, while artificial intelligence per-tains to the theory and development of computers.

Emotional intelligence involves managing and responding to human emotions in real-time. It op-erates based on live information about emotions. In contrast, AI automatically analyzes collected data and identifies current errors.

AI algorithms remain unchanged once fixed unless modified by human intervention. On the other hand, emotional intelligence adapts to different situations and contexts.

AI is centered around machines and technology, whereas emotional intelligence focuses on human interactions and emotions.

Emotional intelligence contributes to the development of individuals’ emotional competencies. AI, however, doesn’t play a role in personal development in the same way.

AI enhances the efficiency of machine-based tasks, while emotional intelligence contributes to building effective leaders and human resources.

Please note that while your statements capture some general distinctions between emotional intel-ligence and artificial intelligence, it’s important to recognize that the relationship between the two can be more nuanced. Emotional intelligence can potentially inform the design and use of AI sys-tems, especially in areas that involve human interaction and emotion recognition.

The rapid growth of AI and machine learning is both exciting and concerning, as it has the poten-tial to reshape various aspects of our lives. AI and automation are poised to transform markets and workforces, and as AI capabilities advance, a broader range of cognitive tasks, rather than just manual tasks, will be affected. Machines excel at tasks such as data gathering, analysis, decision-making, and implementation. With the increasing integration of technology and automation, our reliance on machines is growing, prompting us to recognize the significance of emotions and emo-tional intelligence.

As AI progresses, it can contribute to enhancing human emotional intelligence, soft skills, and in-terpersonal communication abilities. The convergence of emotion detection, computer vision, nat-ural language processing (NLP), psychology, and linguistics empowers AI algorithms to detect, analyze, and process elements of communication like tone, facial expressions, eye contact, and body language. Professions that demand strong communication skills, such as leadership, public speaking, product management, virtual therapy, language instruction, and teaching, can benefit from AI tools that measure emotional intelligence.

AI has the potential to augment our emotional intelligence and communication skills, leading to greater efficiency, productivity, and empathy. Technology is becoming increasingly sophisticated as data and scale grow. While discussions often revolve around how AI could potentially rival humans and revolutionize our lives, it’s important to be enthusiastic about the opportunities the future holds.

The initial advantage of AI for humanity might not lie in developing AI with a superhuman IQ but rather in supporting our emotional intelligence and capacity for love. Even humanoid robots like Sophia, with their human-like expressions and emotional signals, demonstrate the strides AI has made in mimicking emotional responses. However, for AI to possess emotional intelligence, it requires sensors to perceive emotions, computation to assess and regulate its internal state based on captured emotions, and the ability to act accordingly.

While AI can recognize emotions and simulate responses, true empathy remains beyond its reach. Robots can convey emotions, but they lack the genuine emotional experience humans have. Cam-eras in robots’ eyes, like Sophia’s, capture emotional cues, but they don’t feel emotions as humans do. Sophia’s connection to AI models like Chat-GPT or Nano-GPT demonstrates the potential for AI to be trained in specific topics, enhancing its capabilities.

Developing emotional intelligence is crucial in a world where AI-driven manipulation is a con-cern. Strengthening emotional intelligence can foster a culture resilient to such manipulation. As AI evolves and becomes more human-like, the concept of granting personhood status to robots like Sophia might not be exclusive to her. The interest in emotional AI has led to fields like affec-tive computing, social and behavioral computing, and emotion-augmented machine learning. These fields enable computers to recognize and respond to emotions by evaluating data like facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice, and keyboard input. Emotional intelligence is becoming a pivotal factor for businesses and decision-making.

The warnings issued by well-informed AI researchers and organizations are apt, considering the multifaceted changes AI and AGI will bring, encompassing legal, cultural, financial, and existen-tial realms. Understanding the future role of artificial general intelligence (AGI), which possesses human-like cognitive abilities, entails envisioning AGIs evolving into super-intelligences capable of addressing complex issues like climate change, global affairs, and other positive pursuits.

An initial objective for AGI’s impact on humanity could involve enhancing emotional intelligence (EI) and our capacity for empathy. Achieving this would demand AI interaction designers well-versed in human relationships and development, tasked with coding AGIs with essential empathet-ic attributes. However, assigning significant executive authority to powerful AGIs raises appre-hensions. For instance, if tasked with solving the climate crisis, an AGI might logically suggest population reduction due to its link with pollution.

The concept of AGIs making decisions with enforceable consequences is undoubtedly unsettling. This ranges from controlling bank account access and heating systems to influencing air traffic control and agricultural management. While AGIs currently handle tasks like autonomous driving and military aircraft piloting, ethical boundaries remain. Permitting robots to make errors could lead to expensive or potentially lethal outcomes. The intricate ethical dilemma emerges from weighing the potential benefits of advanced AI against the risks of causing harm to a vast number of individuals.

The possibility of AI causing harm to a substantial human population exists theoretically, particu-larly if humans confer executive control on AI systems. The pivotal factor in determining AI’s im-pact largely hinges on human decisions regarding the extent of authority granted to these systems. Crossing ethical boundaries in experiments could escalate into hazardous scenarios.

In light of such risks, prioritizing ethical and safety considerations in AI development becomes paramount. Despite the immense potential of AGIs, ensuring that their capabilities align with hu-man values and present no undue hazards is crucial. Striking a balance between innovation and protecting humanity’s welfare necessitates maintaining human oversight and responsibility. As we navigate the evolving AI and AGI landscape, it remains essential to harmonize progress with the safeguarding of humanity’s interests.

The question of whether AI will ever possess emotions is uncertain and complex. While a clear distinction exists between human feelings and emotions, there’s still curiosity about the potential for AI to simulate emotions, even if they don’t equate to genuine human emotional experiences. AI, lacking physical and emotional elements, can provide emotional support, companionship, and even limited forms of gratification. However, genuine romantic love between AI and humans is highly unlikely. Nurturing emotional intelligence remains crucial to harnessing human capabili-ties in the age of AI-driven innovation.

Although AI has been utilized to develop systems capable of detecting and responding to emo-tions, it cannot truly replicate human emotional understanding. Tools like ChatGPT can emulate human writing due to their vast training on extensive data sets. Yet emotions are beyond AI’s ca-pacity to experience. AI lacks personal memories, the ability to imagine sensory experiences, and the depth of emotional connection that humans possess. It also struggles to consistently interpret facial expressions and cultural nuances in expressing and perceiving emotions, making accurate conclusions difficult.

The risks of relying on AI to decipher human emotions include potential biases and inaccuracies due to the system’s limitations. For instance, some emotional analysis technology demonstrates bias in assigning negative emotions to certain ethnicities. Workplace contexts where AI consist-ently identifies individuals with negative emotions could hinder career advancement. Unaddressed emotional bias within AI can perpetuate stereotypes and prejudices on an unprecedented scale.

To mitigate these challenges, diverse inputs and data are crucial to developing unbiased AI sys-tems. Emotions, such as smiles, are complex and context-dependent, requiring a deep understand-ing of human experience. Technologists and organizational leaders hold responsibilities for de-signing and developing fair and ethical AI systems.

AI is undoubtedly revolutionizing various domains, but emotional intelligence remains a distinc-tively human trait. Emotions play a vital role in intelligent behavior, influencing cognitive, per-ceptual, and physiological processes. Emotional intelligence is pivotal for the responsible devel-opment and use of AI tools. When comparing artificial intelligence and emotional intelligence, they possess different qualities. Alan Turing’s statement from 1950 suggests that if a machine be-haves as intelligently as a human, it can be considered intelligent. While there’s a consensus that artificial emotional intelligence (AEI) could be achievable in AI systems, the claim for “real” emotion necessitates a connection to the physical world, which AI currently lacks.


*Nadia Batok is a political scientist, in the field of international relations. She has a degree in Political Sciences-International Relations. She speaks and writes in English, Italian, Serbian and Croatian, Macedonian and basic French. Article sent to Other News by the author, previously published in MEER. Go to the original: