Artificial intelligence has come a long way in the last decade and will make big moves in the next few years. Annette Zimmermann, Vice President of Research at Gartner, said in January 2018 that “by 2022, your personal device will know more about your emotional state than your own family.” Scary stuff, huh? Just two months after she made this statement, a landmark study from the University of Ohio claimed that their algorithm was better at detecting emotions than people are.

Let’s take a look at a few ways AI is getting more emotional.

AI Systems Will Fully Understand Human Emotions

Let’s say for example you ordered something online and it arrives, and it is the completely wrong size and you are frustrated that the company sent you the wrong sized item. You call customer service and have a frustrated tone. Conversational IVRs and chatbots will eventually route customers to the right service flow faster and more accurately based off emotions and tone of voice. The system will detect anger in the voice and will route the call to a different escalation flow or to a human.

Another example is software that will detect human anger or lack of attention and then take control of a car or stop the vehicle which will prevent accidents spawned from road rage.

Targeted Emotional Analysis for Learning

An example of this is Brain Power’s smart glasses, which help people with autism better understand emotions and social cues. The Google Glass device sees and hears special feedback, such as coaching on facial expressions of emotions, when to look people in the eyes and even feedback on the user’s emotional tendencies. The targeted emotional analysis for learning to acknowledge and interpret emotions and then the insights are communicated to the user in order to learn. This technology is also being tested for group settings such as analyzing emotions of employees with managers and students with teachers.

AI Will Mimic & Replace Human Interactions

Today, there are products and technologies that use conversational UIs and the concept of “computers as social actors” to help alleviate concerns over mental health. Examples are Ellie, which helps soldiers suffering from experiences, and even digital assistants who help elderly people combat loneliness. You probably have Google Home or an Alexa and these are also AI that replaces human interaction. You can have an entire conversation with Alexa and she will learn your likes, dislikes, mannerisms, and schedule. She is essentially an AI best friend.

The key to the evolution of AI is that the emotional aspect of this technology must be built by humans who are emotionally intelligent. Some may look at the idea of AI becoming more emotional as severing ties when it comes to human-to-human interaction, or essentially putting a damper on the progression of human interaction. If we can have a full conversation with a machine and the machine understands our emotions in its entirety, how will this affect the way humans interact with one another? That is the million dollar question.