Over the past couple of decades, there’s been a marked decrease in the number of people who perceive empathy both in their own actions and in their interactions with others. Many people are quick to blame automation and the prominence of technological devices—which could very well be big contributors—but ultimately, the lack of empathy is being reported by people in people-dominated industries. According to Minter Dial, running a good business means being empathetic toward customers, which means truly listening to them, observing them, ensuring that they feel heard, and putting yourself in their shoes.
Most people agree with this and are therefore on board with the idea of integrating empathy in AI technology. But Minter Dial asks an important question, and one that will ultimately require us to look inward before making any changes: are we capable of encoding machines to show empathy if we are incapable of showing and feeling it ourselves? The crux of his book, Heartificial Empathy: Putting Heart into business and Artificial Intelligence, explores why we need more empathy, how to go about increasing it, and how encoding machines with empathic capabilities will force us to analyze what empathy means to us as human beings. It is this process, says Minter Dial, that will not only benefit the way we run businesses but the way we interact with one another as individuals and as a species.
Tune in for the full conversation, and learn more about Minter Dial’s work by visiting minterdial.com.