June 15, 2024

Vitavo Yage

Best Health Creates a Happy Life

Why Brands Are Falling in Love With Emotionally Intelligent AI

9 min read

The Gist

  • Innovation surge. Emotionally intelligent AI is changing how businesses interact with customers by recognizing and responding to human emotions for more meaningful exchanges.
  • Brand trust. Emotionally intelligent AI can facilitate trust between consumers and brands, which is crucial given the public’s general hesitancy to fully embrace AI technologies.
  • Ethical concerns. Data privacy, bias, and ethical considerations pose challenges to the widespread adoption of emotionally intelligent AI, requiring careful planning and transparent practices.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly evolving, and one of the most exciting areas of advancement is in the development of emotionally intelligent AI. Emotionally intelligent AI refers to AI systems that can understand, recognize and respond to human emotions. This is a challenging task, but it is one that is essential for creating AI systems that can truly interact with humans in a natural and meaningful way. In this article, we will explore the advances that are being made in emotionally intelligent AI, and will discuss the potential applications of this technology in marketing and customer experience.

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Emotions and AI

Sean MacPhedran, senior director of innovation at the brand transformation agency SCS, told CMSWire that a positive emotional response is important in just about every customer’s interaction with a brand, whether it’s a smile during a connected TV spot or a transition from irritation to delight as a customer service chat takes a problem and resolves it. “Considerable research has been done outlining the fact that — even in B2B — a good emotional response to a brand communication means a lift in revenue.”

AI itself will not be emotionally aware in the same way that humans are, as it doesn’t have the biological and neurological structures that allow us to experience emotions. However, AI can be trained to recognize and respond to emotions in people using sentiment analysis and other technologies. Some of the ways AI can interpret emotions are:

  • It can analyze human emotions through processing inputs like facial expressions, vocal patterns, tones, language and physiology.
  • It can interpret and classify human emotional states using techniques such as sentiment analysis.
  • It can mimic emotional expressions and responses through generated language, facial animations and voice modulation.
  • It can personalize interactions and adapt behaviors based on detected human emotions and sentiments.

Sentiment analysis is a process of identifying the sentiment of a piece of text. This can be done by looking at the words that are used, the tone of the writing and the context in which the text is written. AI can be trained to perform sentiment analysis on a variety of data sources, such as social media posts, customer reviews, product feedback and even voice calls.

“Through textual sentiment analysis, for example, one could create a GPT-powered chatbot that is designed to adapt to customer emotions,” said MacPhedran. “If cameras in a subway detected a dreary morning mood in 100s of riders, adaptive ads could be served that are a bit more cheery.” MacPhedran gave the example of smart vending machines, which are already famed for changing prices based on weather, and might get a bit more emotionally intelligent with a camera coupled with AI and other contextual data points to make one to one messages based on a passerby’s emotions.

Once AI has been trained to recognize emotions, it can be used to develop applications that can respond to those emotions in helpful and appropriate ways. For example, an AI-powered customer service chatbot could be trained to identify and respond to customer frustration. When a customer is frustrated, the chatbot could offer additional assistance, apologize for the inconvenience, or transfer the customer to a live agent, enhancing customer satisfaction and improving the overall customer experience.

Emotionally intelligent AI is still in its early stages of development, but it has the potential to revolutionize many industries and make a positive impact on society. By helping us to better understand and respond to each other’s emotions, emotionally intelligent AI can make our world a more empathetic and compassionate place. It is important to note that emotionally intelligent AI is not a replacement for human interaction. AI can be a valuable tool for helping us to understand and respond to emotions, but it should not be used to replace the relationships that businesses have with their customers.

Kristin Wozniak, global lead of customer success at Plus Company, the Entrepreneurial Network, told CMSWire that emotionally intelligent AI aims to enhance human-to-computer/computer-to-human interactions by making AI systems more empathetic, responsive and capable of understanding human emotions. While this opens up vast opportunities, it’s also a double-edged sword. “It’s exactly this capability that makes emotionally intelligent AI an incredible tool for brands to build better relationships with consumers but also a tool that could easily threaten those relationships.”

Related Article: Sentiment Analysis Improves the Customer Experience

The Benefits of Emotionally Intelligent AI

Emotionally intelligent AI has the power to transform a vast range of industries by enabling more natural, meaningful interactions between humans and machines. In sectors from healthcare to education, emotionally aware AI systems that can perceive and simulate emotional states are demonstrating immense potential. 

These seemingly emotional AI applications facilitate trust in consumers, something that is vital for the public acceptance of AI in industries. According to a 2023 Statista survey conducted with marketers in the United States, 73% of respondents indicated that they are using generative AI. Unfortunately, the public at large still does not entirely trust AI. A 2022 KPMG global survey revealed that 61% of respondents are either ambivalent or unwilling to trust AI. For those who expressed trust in AI, its use in healthcare and security contexts was trusted the most compared to other possible applications.

By accurately detecting emotions through analysis of facial expressions, vocal tones, language and physiological signs, AI systems can interpret human sentiment and respond appropriately. This empathetic capability allows AI assistants, tutors, robots and virtual companions to provide comfort, customize interactions and promote safety based on emotional cues. 

Justin Luh, senior brand strategist at Audacity Health, told CMSWire that a key aspect of emotionally intelligent AI is its ability to connect with stakeholders on a deeper level, recognizing the intricate relationships between patients, their families, healthcare providers, executives, investors and payors. “By comprehending the complex emotional aspects of healthcare decision-making, these AI systems can tailor messaging and tactics to resonate with individual audience groups.” Luh believes that emotionally intelligent AI has the potential to revolutionize healthcare marketing, leading to a more comprehensive understanding of stakeholders and ultimately better patient care.

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