The change that artificial intelligence has produced in our lives continues to grow, from machine learning to autonomous cars, this technology is marking a before and after in our way of interacting with our environment. Although we may not realize it, artificial intelligence is behind many processes that we interact with daily, but do these processes need emotional intelligence?

According to data from a study conducted by Gartner, in the year 2020 we will talk more with bots than with our partners. These bots are simply designed to answer a series of questions with pre-programmed responses, lacking empathy and knowledge of human emotions. But new models of interaction want to help machines understand the emotions of their human interlocutors, in order to provide more appropriate responses, based on more socio-emotional modelsrather than analytical ones, creating better experiences for users. 

Multiple universities are currently working on giving artificial intelligence emotions, especially personal assistants. Both Siri, Alexa, and Cortana (the assistants from Apple, Amazon, and Windows respectively) are capable of understanding and processing natural language, but for now, they are unable to understand the context and mood of the people they interact with.


Humans vs. Machines

For now, understanding emotions is one of the few things we know how to do better than machines. Knowing how to harness emotional intelligence will work in favor of those who know how to apply it in the workplace. The growth of task automation within companies will cause many jobs to disappear. However, those positions where decision-making and the use of emotional intelligence are necessary will be above robotization.

Controlling one's own emotions and knowing how to react to others' will be fundamental for the skilled workers of the future, who will increasingly have to face fewer repetitive jobs but will have to face difficult decisions that have an impact on the future of companies as well as their teams. This emotional capacity will differentiate us humans from machines, at least for now.