The Intersection of Empathy and Artificial Intelligence


How do you define artificial intelligence? Robots and science fiction? Siri and Alexa? Unless you are an expert in the field, you will probably struggle to articulate everything that artificial intelligence encompasses. Why not turn to the experts? IBM defines artificial intelligence as technology that "leverages computers and machines to mimic the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human mind." The IBM definition highlights the mimicry and imitation of human mental faculties, including the ability to come up with creative solutions to social, economic or business problems. IBM also mentions the human ability to making decisions, which includes compiling, processing and analyzing data to determine the best outcome. Artificial intelligence may also imitate or reflect other human characteristics, but machine consciousness is not currently possible. Moreover, with the rise of automation and artificial intelligence, it is becoming more and more relevant for business professionals to consider the demand for empathy and compassion. Without empathy, business leaders and consumers will be unable to trust artificial intelligence or rely on the technology to help us solve practical business challenges. 

The Right Purposes 

Robots may be able to decimate humans in a game of chess, but how do they fair as emotional support workers or creative analysts? What if empathy is the missing component here? What if empathy is one of the core reasons that artificial intelligence cannot perfectly imitate human consciousness? In a Forbes article on empathy in artificial intelligence, hybrid journalist and programming expert Jun Wu argues that empathy is an essential component of overall intelligence and is therefore necessary for genuine artificial intelligence. He encourages us to consider the compelling question of whether or not we are "using artificial intelligence for the right purposes to bring out the best in humanity." Unless we make a conscious effort and can figure out how to successfully program empathy, artificial intelligence will fail us. 

Continuing Education 

Artificial empathy is an exciting prospect, but where should you begin if you are brand new to the subject matter? Through continuing education and online cybersecurity courses, business leaders and working professionals can gain fundamental knowledge in artificial intelligence including common learning approaches and functional uses. Education can then be paired with empathy and critical thinking about how and when to apply the technology. To build your foundation and begin the process, we recommend checking out the following cybersecurity certifications and training courses: 

  • TechnoEdge Learning offers the Arcitura Certified AI Specialist training course, where students can learn about functional business applications of artificial intelligence, learning approaches, optimizing neural networks, and common design problems. Additional course content covers the five primary business purposes for artificial intelligence and neural networks. 
  • TechnoEdge Learning also offers the foundational Arcitura Certified Machine Learning Specialist, where students can explore the various types of machine learning including supervised, unsupervised, continuous, heuristic, and reinforcement learning. The course also includes an overview of multiple algorithms, methods and models of contemporary machine learning. 
  • The AWS Academy Machine Learning Foundations is another excellent option which introduces students to the fundamental concepts and core terminology of artificial intelligence and machine learning, with an added emphasis on selecting and applying the appropriate machine learning processes to resolve practical business challenges and overcome roadblocks. 

Further Reading 

Looking for additional resources and inspiration? Check out these previous blogs on the impact of artificial intelligence, the use of AI in cybersecurity, and popular science fiction to motivate your technology studies. 

Written by CJ McGillivray

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