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“Today, whether it’s an increase in narcissism, a reduction in time, or an obsession with technology, there are many reasons why people are understanding themselves to be and seeming to feel that there’s less empathy out there,” says Minter Dial, keynote speaker and author of Heartificial Empathy: Putting Heart into business and Artificial Intelligence. He goes on to explain the effects that this minimal amount or complete lack of empathy has in the world of business, one of which leaves customers feeling as though their needs and desires aren’t being heard, understood, or addressed. As a result of this, people, on the whole, are beginning to lose their loyalty for certain companies, and are unable to establish it for new ones.

A seemingly obvious answer to this problem might be to program empathy into the machines with which we increasingly interact, to encode our experiences with empathy in order to ensure that it’s there—whether in an application online, an AI-driven personal shopper or automated checkout stands at the market. And while integrating empathy in AI might be a good idea, is it possible? Are we capable of encoding machines to show empathy when we are incapable of showing it ourselves? According to Minter Dial, this is an important question to ask, as it will force us to turn the mirrors on ourselves and consider why empathy is so important and whether we are capable of practicing it once again.

Tune in to hear Minter Dial discuss a range of issues on this topic, and visit minterdial.com for more of his work.

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