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How is Emotional Intelligence different from AI?

  • Pragya Soni
  • Jan 17, 2022
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When we talk about artificial intelligence, all that comes in our mind is logic and algorithms, no one even wonders about emotions. Right? But, when we talk about emotional intelligence, we try to relate emotions with logic. Is it? 


What these two terms, artificial intelligence (AI) and emotional intelligence (EQ) mean in actuality and how are they different from each other. In this blog we will read the meaning of emotional intelligence and how it is different from AI.


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What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?


Artificial intelligence (AI) can be defined as a technology that embeds intelligence in machines. It is human created technology that makes machines think like humans. This helps the machines to take some important and major decisions without human inference.


Types of artificial intelligence


Depending upon its mechanism and applications, artificial intelligence is basically classified into the following three categories. 


  1. Narrow intelligence


ANI expanded as Artificial Narrow Intelligence is the most common form of AI. This form is employed for every next application in the market. This is the simplest type of AI. Weak AI can perform a single task at a time. 


It is designed to solve one single problem and has narrow capabilities. It is quite similar to human functioning in a specific context.


  1. General intelligence


AGI is expanded as Artificial General Intelligence. This intelligence doesn’t exist till yet and is a theoretical content. General intelligence is defined as AI that has human level cognitive function. Scientists worldwide are still working to build an AGI system. 


An AGI system needs to compromise thousands of ANI systems working parallel. The processing of an AGI system is a complex process as it resembles the exact working of human neuronal activity.


  1. Super intelligence


ASI is expanded as Artificial Super Intelligence. It is a science fiction territory and is also termed as future intelligence sometimes. ASI or super intelligence will surpass all human capabilities. 


If scientists are able to design an ASI system, it would help the machines to make rational decisions. It would also help robots and machines to build emotional relationships like humans.



Why is artificial intelligence important?


Artificial intelligence is important to match the future steps of the world. It helps in designing of machines and technologies as well as in their application. Even a simple calculator is nothing more than an application of AI.


(Take a look at our blog on Strong AI)



What is emotional intelligence?


The term emotional intelligence was first used in 1985 by Wayne Payne. However, in 1930 the psychologist Edward Thorndike used the concept of social intelligence, that means the ability of individuals to get familiar with society. 


Later, multiple definitions were derived for this term, EQ, i.e., emotional intelligence. And the people started considering it as a parameter of personality and success. Sometimes people confuse EQ with IQ, but that is something totally different.


Emotional intelligence is basically defined as an ability of an individual to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. Emotional intelligence has always been a debatable topic for researchers, while some feel that it can be learned and strengthened, others find it as an inborn characteristic. 


Components of emotional intelligence

Components of emotional intelligence are Perceiving emotions, Reasoning emotions, Understanding emotions and Managing emotions.

Components of emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is not a single step process, but a whole complex process that involves different components. The major components of emotional intelligence are as follows:


Perceiving emotions


In order to understand emotions, it is essential to perceive or receive them accurately. For this it is essential to involve correct nonverbal signals, body language and facial expressions.


Reasoning emotions


After perceiving or sensing the emotions, the next step is reasoning of the emotions. It involves employing emotions to promote thinking and cognitive activity. This process defines the way in which we respond to emotions.


Understanding emotions


The third step of emotional intelligence is to understand emotions and try to interpret them. For example, if your mom is angry with you, you try to interpret the cause of it, if either it is your low marks or if you haven’t assisted her with some work.


Managing emotions


The final component of emotional intelligence is managing emotions. It is the crucial part and the most complex one. It is important to manage emotions in order to regulate and respond to the emotions in the right way. 


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How to measure emotional intelligence?


Now, you might be wondering how you can measure emotional intelligence. There are few tests that help in measuring emotional intelligence or EQ of a person. These tests include:


Self-report test


This is the most common test, as they can be easily administered by the individual himself. In this test, the user creates some questions in mind, responds to them and then verifies his EQ level according to a criterion fixed.


Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT)


Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) is based on four branches of Mayer and Salovey models. Tasks are predesigned, the test takers are requested to take these tasks. Then, their ability to perceive, identify, understand, and manage emotions is then calculated and determined.


Emotional and Social Competence Inventory (ESCI)

Emotional and Social Competence Inventory is an ability-based test. It contains a self-assessment questionnaire. The procedure involves few people who know the individual at different levels. 


The emotional competencies of the individual are thus determined. The test is basically designed to test the emotional and social abilities of the people to emerge as a strong leader. 


How can you improve your emotional intelligence?

If you want to improve your emotional intelligence, you can follow the mentioned steps:


Listen: It is essential to listen to things carefully in order to perceive it accurately.


Empathize: In order to truly understand someone’s emotions, it is essential to try to fit yourself in a similar situation. The more you can empathize with others, the more you can understand their emotions.


Reflect: Whatever you feel or think you should know how to reflect it via your actions.


Why is emotional intelligence important?


Emotional intelligence is as important as emotions in the world. Just suppose how terrible you will feel if you are not able to understand the sorrow or happiness of your close one. 


The families and friends in the world are bound by emotions, if there will be no emotions, the earth won’t be a social place anymore. In fact, emotional intelligence is more important than IQ to achieve success and stability in life.


(AI has also become a savior in the lives of people with disabilities. Learn how AI is improving accessibility for disabled people)



How is AI different from emotional intelligence?


Now let us conclude this blog, highlighting the key differences between AI and emotional intelligence:


  1. Taking the current scenario in consideration, AI is something related to machines and emotional intelligence is something related to humans and hearts.


  1. AI is the theory and development process of computers. On the other hand, emotional intelligence refers to the handling, management and response of human emotions.


  1. AI algorithms once fixed don't change unless altered by a human hand, while emotional intelligence changes from situation to situation and varies from time to time.


  1. AI automatically analyzes gathered information and finds current errors, while emotional intelligence works on current and live information.


  1. Emotional intelligence focuses on manual labor, while AI is a game of machines and technologies.


  1. Emotional intelligence builds the emotional competencies of individuals while there is no such role of AI in building personal development. 


Emotional intelligence attempts to enhance an individual’s key personal emotional competencies as well emotional intelligence relationship skills for both personal and professional success.


  1. AI has the capability to gather, analyze and interpret data, emotional intelligence has capability to perceive, understand and manage emotions.


  1. Emotional intelligence builds the leaders or manpower, AI builds the machine power or workers. 


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Can artificial intelligence and emotional intelligence coexist?


Though, scientists and researchers are working to infuse machines with emotions and make artificial intelligence coexist with emotional intelligence. But, till that time, there was no coexistence like this.


Ultimately, Humans can definitely offer more to the business world than machines, machines still need to develop their capability to feel love, compassion and empathy or to feel like us, the humans. 


On the other hand, humans already possess those emotions which inadvertently makes them better than machines.  In the near future, we can expect machines to develop with these capabilities. Till the time machines get in line, human resources are already here to serve the globe.

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