Scientists are teaching artificial intelligence to empathize. New capabilities can improve interaction in customer service, human resources, or mental health, writes The Wall Street Journal.
According to scientists, large AI-driven language models have been trained on a huge number of voice, text, and video conversations. So now they are smart enough to detect and imitate emotions such as empathy. And sometimes better than humans.
For example, telecommunications giant Cox Communications and telemarketing company Teleperformance use AI to measure the level of empathy of call center operators. And doctors and therapists use generative AI to create empathetic correspondence with patients.
“AI can even be better than humans at helping us with socio-emotional learning because we can feed it the knowledge of the best psychologists in the world to coach and train people,” says Grin Lord, a clinical psychologist and CEO of mpathic.ai, a conversation analytics company.
However, some sociologists question whether it is ethical to use AI, which has no experience of human suffering, to interpret emotional states. There is also a view that artificial empathy can cheapen the expectation that people in distress deserve genuine human attention.
“Empathy that’s most clinically valuable requires that the doctor experience something when they listen to a patient,” explains Jodi Halpern, professor of bioethics at the University of California, Berkeley.
According to her, this is something that a bot without human feelings cannot do.
As you know, AI is increasingly being used in many areas of human life. For example, two research teams from California have recently developed brain implants that can give voice to people who are unable to speak. The results of their work were published in the journal Nature.