Emotional Intelligence & The Human Side of AI Integration


Emotional intelligence is being increasingly recognised as an important component in the modern workplace. In addition to being intelligent and knowledgeable, 90% of top performers also score highly for emotional intelligence. Even better, while your IQ may be stuck where it is, EQ can be improved through intentional practise and training. A study from Motorola found that its employees were 93% more productive after undergoing stress management and EQ training.

Emotional intelligence influences an employee’s relationship with their colleagues, the decisions they make that affect their team, and the constructive feedback that they provide for others. Emphasising the importance of emotional intelligence can help improve toxic work environments, encourage collaboration, reduce turnover, and increase output. When it comes to improving your work environment as a whole, there’s no question that emphasising emotional intelligence offers a variety of benefits. Luckily, there has been a recent movement to not only increase this factor for humans, but our artificial counterparts as well.

What could emotionally intelligent AI be used for?

Currently, many AI services, like ChatGPT, are being used to automate and speed up tedious tasks like drafting emails and summarising large quantities of information. When we think of AI in the workplace, we often imagine these services taking over the boring, monotonous tasks that fill up our time so that we can focus on the more creative or human-centred aspects of our jobs. Careers that involve working with people directly are often thought to be more or less “AI-proof,” given that it’s still difficult for robots to take over non-digital jobs like making coffee or cutting hair.

However, as the capabilities of artificial intelligence continue to advance and expand faster than ever, so too will its ability to take over the more human aspects of our jobs. Ironically, one of the most prominent examples of this is in the field of human resources and recruiting. A 2022 survey from the Society of Human Resources Management found that 79% of employers use A.I. and/or automation for recruitment and hiring, with the most frequent usage being to help review resumes.

Emotionally intelligent AI can also be used to review virtual interviews and help hiring managers make better judgements. As an added benefit, the more emotionally intelligent AI becomes, the less it will have to rely on biased hiring decisions from the past to inform its decisions, meaning AI could also be used to help remove negative human aspects, like sexism and racism, from the hiring process.

In the coming years, you may start to notice that your virtual assistants, like Siri and Alexa, will begin sounding less robot-like and more like a real assistant as well. Instead of simply providing answers to questions and playing rap music when it hears the phrase “play rap music,” virtual assistants will soon be able to recognise different tones and adjust their responses accordingly.

Brands will also be able to take advantage of this technology by investing in emotionally intelligent chatbots. After using the company’s social posts and customer reviews to “train,” the AI can then help customers solve issues and adjust its responses if it senses a customer seems particularly confused or upset. Using emotionally intelligent AI will help brands streamline and automate a lot of their marketing efforts while also keeping the human aspect.

The potential drawbacks of using emotionally intelligent AI

As with every instance of incorporating AI into a field or sector where it was not previously utilised, strong precaution should always be taken. Creating an AI that is even more human-like will come with many foreseen and unforeseen challenges.

Just like human beings, even the most well-coded AI will still struggle to accurately identify the emotions of others. Additionally, emotional reactions can differ across continents and cultures, and while these contextual situations may be easier for humans to understand, a robot may find it virtually impossible. Human interactions are deeply nuanced and not always easily categorised, so naturally, AI will struggle with it.

To train an AI and increase its emotional intelligence, it needs to be exposed to as much information as possible. This raises another issue: privacy concerns. An AI that needs to essentially “sit in” on job interviews or counselling sessions to improve its abilities might not sit well with many people. It’s hard to blame anyone for wanting their personal information to be utilised by a tech company, and the issue of what exactly will be done with our private information raises a whole host of additional concerns.

On the other hand, there could be potential cause for concern for people who embrace emotionally intelligent AI too readily. A person who relies on an AI that knows exactly what to say and is essentially always there for them may find themselves becoming more and more distant with the real people in their lives. When technology already fulfils so many of our wants and needs, the idea of a robot replacing our real-life relationships is a little chilling.

At the end of the day, we are also human beings who sometimes just want to interact with other human beings. As advanced and helpful as AI becomes, there will always be people who simply want to speak with a real customer service representative instead of a recording.

Even if an AI is emotionally intelligent, should it really be the one to deliver bad news about a patient to their family? Do we want emotionally intelligent robots handling delicate, emotionally charged situations? While AI will assist and replace many parts of our jobs and daily routines, there are some things that will always need to be done by people.




Making the Cloud Landscape Sustainable through Accountability and Transparency

Cloud Computing

Sustainability: More Than Just a Buzzword, a Long-Term Vision

Sustainable technologies are a vital component of business success. If effectively integrated into a company’s business model, sustainability can substantially increase a business’s overall efficiency. It should come as no surprise, then, that the move towards sustainable technologies is a top 10 initiative for CEOs, CIOs, and other business executives. More than merely a trend, sustainability is radically transforming tech within the business world. According to Gartner, “By 2025, 50% of CIOs will have performance metrics tied to the sustainability of the IT organisation.”

Investing in sustainable technology within the workplace can benefit companies in a big way. For example, two major players in the business world, Japanese transport company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, are seeing their investment in sustainable technology pay off in spades. The first uses AI-powered models to improve maritime shopping efficiencies and the latter uses tech advancements to create a virtual water supply in order to create smart building management solutions that use 50 percent less water in the water supply system. This is a win-win for these businesses and for the health of the environment.

Unfortunately, cloud storage centres and AI technology require tremendous amounts of energy to function. According to Greenpeace, “By 2025, the technology sector could consume 20 percent of the world’s total electricity.”

The Top Challenges Thwarting Complete Sustainable Adoption: Why the Cloud Isn’t a Sustainable End-All-Be-All

While many large cloud computing companies are making tremendous strides toward switching to renewable energy infrastructures such as wind and solar, smaller, independent data centres simply do not have the resources needed to embrace these sustainability initiatives. Limited by outmoded buildings and outdated computing equipment, many companies and organisations have opted to transfer their data to hyperscale or cloud colocation facilities in an effort to reduce their energy costs.

On the surface, transferring data to facilities equipped to handle it seems to be a sustainability solution, but it is not; rather, it is the equivalent of simply moving a problem from one place to another because the cloud presently has a greater carbon footprint than the airline industry. Shockingly, their energy usage and emissions are largely unregulated. Despite many governments instituting their own emission targets, specific and universal rules regarding the use of data centres are virtually non-existent. At some point, cloud sustainability most likely will have a mandatory compliance requirement, but this has not yet happened.

The Harmonious Blend: How Sustainability Amplifies the Cloud’s Potential

While much improvement is needed in terms of making cloud storage sustainable, all is not doom and gloom; some emerging solutions are nudging data storage centres towards sustainability largely through more efficient cloud technology and also through green cloud computing. What is green cloud computing? According to author Clàudio Rodrigues, “Green cloud computing is simply an approach where companies can use what they already have smartly to minimise energy consumption and overall carbon footprint.”

Though they do require an inordinate amount of energy to operate, cloud storage centres are necessary for many businesses. Safeguarding against data loss, especially in the event of a natural disaster, cloud computing centres can protect companies’ data. Cloud computing also enables workers to do remote work, reducing the need to commute, which decreases emissions. Cloud storage, then, is a viable option for many businesses for it can mean significant savings for them.

Key Insights for SMBs: Navigating the Sustainable Cloud Landscape

The key to making sure that cloud tech is moving towards sustainability is to hold the cloud storage facilities responsible. In other words, customers need to make sure that the cloud storage facility they use is transparent and meets high environmental standards. According to Earth.org, if customers “demand greater transparency and improved global standards, we can have it all.”

Leading cloud service providers are aggressively investing in a sustainable cloud with the goal of reaching zero emissions within a decade or sooner. This is a laudable goal, but it will take a concerted effort from cloud service providers and SMB leaders to achieve this goal. The effort is worth it, for taking these steps will likely result in an abundance of rewards such as improved brand image and reduced costs, both of which help businesses stay competitive.

What Your VPN Knows About You – And May Not Be Telling You


Everyone needs a VPN! Using a VPN is the only way to keep your online activity truly private! These and other unethical, hyperbolic claims are just a few of the false marketing narratives surrounding the use of Virtual Private Networks.

In reality, a VPN that logs its users could land your private data on everything from the black web to government watch lists.

If your VPN provider doesn’t clearly spell out how long it will keep your data, for what explicit purposes (like an active legal case), and what the retention process will be should the company dissolve, proceed with extreme caution.

“14 of the 16 VPNs we analysed failed to state in their documentation that they will immediately and permanently delete all personal user information when a user closes or deletes their account, and that they’ll do so within 30 days,” explains Consumer Reports. “Even then, the terms specify that old backups containing user data could retain personal information.”

Worried your VPN may be engaging in invasive data collection or retention practices? Here’s how to protect your privacy.

Why Everyone – Including Some VPNs – Wants to Log Your Data

There are several reasons an entity or website may want to collect some portion of your personal data or browsing history – many of them legitimate.

This sampling is a mixed bag of the good, the bad, and the ugly of VPN data retention:

  1. To limit the terms of your subscription. Accessing a VPN service across too many of your devices can make wide-scale connection more difficult.
  2. To restrict your bandwidth. Your account may come with limits on how much bandwidth you can use per session. The only way to know that is by keeping a log everytime you sign in. If you see a “no log” promise and bandwidth usage practices used simultaneously, start asking questions.
  3. To support local authorities. Using a Virtual Private Servers (VPS) is a common VPN practice. According to Restore Privacy, “The problem is that rental servers will often maintain logs of server activity. Furthermore, local authorities can possibly force a server host to log data.” Meaning, they could simply bypass the VPN and go directly to the datacenter for information.
  4. To assist spying agencies. Big tech and international spying agencies have long been bedfellows. With one government request, a company or server could see a portion of its data end up in outside hands.
  5. To improve the service. User experience can be dashed with bugs and glitches. It’s why so many VPNs will log data under the guise of performance improvements.

Users Beware: What “Free” VPN Really Means

In tech there’s a saying: if you’re not paying for the product you are the product.

That’s certainly the case here. In order for a VPN to provide this “free” service, it’s likely they’ll have to log user data and sell it to other entities and third parties. Any mention of the word “free” should be an instant red flag. The same goes for browsing logs, which collect usage data and really amount to nothing more than spyware.

Instead, stick to one of these two other VPN types:

  • Connection logs – If you’re okay with having some basic info collected about when you logged on, where you connected, and which IP address you used, this is a good option. Just beware if you’re engaging in any illegal activities.
  • No logs – Always do your research and use discernment to determine whether this is fact or marketing fluff. A fully no-log policy can be difficult to achieve.

So how is it that VPN companies are able to get away with storing and even selling user data? The answer lies in the non-existent international standardising body. Without one, it’s up to the VPN providers themselves to define their own terms and keep them intentionally vague.

Avoiding the VPN to Dark Web Pipeline

If you’re not an international criminal, the chances of a VPN willingly overturning your data are slim. Still, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be wary of having your online activities outed to bad actors. As PC Magazine recommends, “By choosing a VPN that is upfront about its logging policies, you can at least be sure that your data is used exactly as advertised by the company you’re relying on to protect it.”

And when you want a truly private browsing experience, go no-log. But make sure you read the fine print first.

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