hrtechoutlook

Can Robots be Better than HR at Understanding Human Emotions?

By HR Tech Outlook | Tuesday, February 11, 2020

MIT researches, in 2016, uncovered a groundbreaking device, namely EQ- Radio, that essentially measures a person’s heart rate and breathing to ascertain their emotional state. It, then, shows with 87 percent accuracy whether the person is happy, sad, or angry.

FREMONT, CA: HR profession requires a keen understanding of psychology and sociology to analyze sentiment and workplace behavior. Unlike finance or IT, which mostly revolves around hard data, HR teams have not been given much exposure to the business intelligence software. However, in today’s data-driven environment, HR analytics is gradually becoming more advanced with the uprising of artificial intelligence (AI). To be more precise, AI that incorporates ‘emotional’ intelligence.

 Reading between the Lines

AI, machine learning (ML) in particular, is continuously providing leaders with more accurate data analytic tools, unraveling the subtle details of human emotions in a more scientific way. Martin de Martini, co-founder and CIO of software group Y Soft said, “AI/ML is great at narrow, repetitive tasks that require the processing of vast amounts of data, repetitive patterns, and complex calculations.”

This may allow HR professionals get access to a massive amount of people data from numerous sources such as 360-degree performance reviews, employee surveys, and also email text analysis. With the help of all of these data, they may be capable of gaining better comprehension of employee culture and engagement. Tools like personality quizzes, team building, wearable gadgets, and even robot interviewing software are already available in the market, showing light on the insights of human emotions and sentiments.

MIT researches, in 2016, uncovered a groundbreaking device, namely EQ- Radio that essentially measures a person’s heart rate and breathing to ascertain their emotional state. EQ-Radio rebounds signals off a person’s body and decodes vital signs through the algorithm. It, then, shows with 87 percent accuracy whether the person is happy, sad, or angry. The device also can alert security personnel of any threats or crisis situations in the workplace. The far fetched idea of using wireless signals to detect emotions is now a reality. Similarly, the language in the email, memo, or job advertisement can be used to determine a person’s intentions and behavior as AI can read between the lines.

Services such as Boost Editor, Textio, and IBM’s Watson Tone Analyzer are one of the examples that use AI to determine emotions by intensely listening to words. Textio, on the other hand, is a writing tool that can spot problematic phrases to advise workers against explicit or harsh languages.

 

Martin de Martini remarked, “Within a few decades, these computer algorithms will enable communications with humans better than people can do among themselves, as the emotion is almost always represented by facial, body language, and speech modulation patterns.”

Emotional Intelligence

Machines of the future may excel in the task of understanding human psychology and sentiments better than HR professionals. Analytic and mathematic tools can now make predictions on human behavioral patterns by analyzing a person’s words, facial expressions, and gestures. It is now up to humans that how they can adopt the advanced AI-enabled tools to make their work more productive and accurate.

Here is the list of three levels of intelligent digitalization, according to PwC:

• Assisted Intelligence is the way lengthy, low-level, routine tasks are being automated. In light of this, the use of chatbots can improve HR service delivery.

• Augmented Intelligence is the way humans and machines can make a decision together. For reference, incorporating machine learning can be useful to reduce uncertainty and bias when making a decision on how much raise to give and who to promote.

•Autonomous Intelligence is one of the most advanced forms of AI in which machines can be self-aware as well.

Right now, emotional intelligence is still at its initial stage of learning. It relies on humans to teach them how to determine human emotions and behaviors correctly by constantly being fed with an unending amount of data.

With time and patience, emotionally intelligent AI may ace at determining human emotions in various scenarios like when a worker is depressed, stressed, or anxious. They may also be able to predict how a person may react before a certain situation arises.

See Also: Top HR Tech Solution Companies

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