When I describe the fact that our product – TeleMetriX, reads information about a person’s emotional state, I inevitably encounter someone who is “creeped out” by the notion that a computer can understand their emotions.
People have a visceral reaction to the types of machine learning we are capable of and the inevitable images of George Orwell’s Big Brother begin to invade the conversation.
I often counter with a simple statement, that generates an equally visceral reaction.
“You don’t own your emotions!” - I use this phrase for it’s shock value. I’m fishing for the big reaction. I want the person to respond as forcefully as possible, because it reinforces the following statement.
You see, your emotions are not for you. While poets and writers wax and wane about our internal struggles with emotion, the truth is that the outward appearance of our emotional states are biologically designed to communicate our intent.
Here is an example that I like to use. Let’s say you are walking down the street. You encounter a small dog, a cuddly looking Chihuahua-dachshund mix, a Chi-Weenie. Even the name of the breed is so enticing, you just want to reach out and pet this cute little animal.
But as you approach, the dog begins to growl and bark in manner in vast disproportion to his size. He bears his teeth and begins crouch in a sure sign that he is about to come after you.
Would you continue forward, or would you walk on by?
From experience, I can tell you… You should just keep walking. You see, the dog is communicating his intent. He is not growling and barking because he wants to be your friend. He is about to sink his extremely sharp, needle like canines into your hand, leg or even your face. After all Chi-Weenies can jump four and a half feet straight into the air from a standing position.
Would you say the dog’s emotions were meant for his own introspection? Or would you say that this little beast was communicating his intention to consume your body like a piece of fresh meat?
A human’s emotional state is not dissimilar to the Chi-Weenie. We wear our moods on our faces to communicate to other human beings, just like the dog growls to let you know he is about to bite.
A person who walks into a store wearing an angry expression is letting you know that they need attention.
That is what TeleMetriX does. It captures your current emotional state and engages the proper resources so that the service provider can resolve the issue. Another human could do that without the technology, but they would be limited to identifying the emotion in the person they are directly working with. TeleMetriX extends this capability throughout a place of business, so that everyone’s problems can be addressed in the most efficient way available.
That’s Emotional Intelligence.