The blueprint for today's artificial intelligence, neural network and machine learning technology is the human brain, simply because it is the most effective tool for solving problems that we know of. However, there is a big part of the puzzle missing – the aspect of human intelligence that we know as emotional intelligence, or empathy. Emotional intelligence is what allows us to take the feelings and considerations of other people into account in the solutions we make. And so far, progress here has been limited. Alexa, helpful as she may be in some circumstances, will not consider your feelings, or those of others affected by her actions, as she keeps your smart home running smoothly.
Rana el Kaliouby will present a keynote, Why AI needs emotion, at the O'Reilly Artificial Intelligence Conference, September 26-27, 2016, in New York. Subscribe to the O'Reilly Data Show Podcast to explore the opportunities and techniques driving big data, data science, and AI. Find us on Stitcher, TuneIn, iTunes, SoundCloud, RSS. While I was in Beijing for Strata Hadoop World, several people reminded me of the chatbot Xiaoice--one of the most popular accounts on the Chinese social media site Weibo. Developed by Microsoft researchers, Xiaoice comes with a personality and is able to engage users in extended conversations on Weibo.