Welcome to 2021 —where you can get data on your minute-to-minute emotions. 

Do you want to track your emotions in real-time? Yes, this does sound crazy and super sci-fi, but that’s what’s possible with AI. 

There are big business implications to this new possibility. For example, how are retailers going to use this to better market their products to consumers? I just read about this on HBR. If you have AI data to know that your shoppers feel happy and more likely to spend at a certain time, you can strategically respond by sending out marketing info. 

Or, if a retailer knows when a shopper is feeling sad, they would be able to send a “cheer up” email with a discount code. The effects on retail alone demonstrate the power of AI’s new capability. 

There are other questions to consider, too. Where else can it be used? And, above all, what should we be concerned about? 

How Can AI Grasp Human Emotions? 

This is an exciting development in the world of tech and an unquestionable feat. However, I personally think we should be super cautious about this. 

While I do love cutting-edge technology and AI, this new potential is kind of scary. Think about it, you now have someone who’s not human interpreting your human emotions. As we all know, emotions are anything but stable. At the core, emotions often defy logic. Your emotions fluctuate daily, and we all experience so many different emotions in a single day. 

Taking Self-Awareness into Account

While AI may be able to identify the different emotions we’re feeling, it’s not going to be able to take self-awareness into account. 

The way I see it, you should rule your emotions so that your emotions do not rule you. The solution is self-awareness, which means that you’re conscious and accepting of the different ways you’re feeling. Self-awareness gives you the power of controlling how you behave based on your emotions… but those emotions are still unfolding within you. 

When you’re self-aware, you’re making a conscious observation of your inner state. You’re realistic about what you have going on inside and are choosing how you want to respond in your outer world. Naturally, a reaction or outcome is not easy to predict based on emotions alone. 

So sure, you may be very frustrated at your business meeting. AI may interpret that emotion and make the prediction that you will react by yelling or arguing. But, that’s not how a self-aware person would handle the situation. They may take a deep breath, smile, and clearly state their point. 

Can AI Learn to Get it Right? 

The truth is that AI might not always see the “cause and effect” behind human emotions, even if they can track them in real time. We also know that tracking and understanding emotions aren’t even easy for us. As a human, without using AI, we have our own rose-colored glasses on — and most of the time, they’re not accurate. 

How can AI understand the truth behind human emotions? How is AI going to get it right? That’s my biggest question about all of this. What’s yours?