In simple terms, EQ helps us to manage our lives and relationships better. It’s the glue that connects people together, facilitating good communication and, above all, our ability to empathise with each other. According to Rushton, EQ will empower us to effectively function in a digital landscape that thrives on speed, change and creativity.
“AI is a tool that can think and do stuff that man purely cannot do on his own, but human beings live predominantly on a love based system. If we don’t have good EQ or it’s not incorporated into AI, which has no ability to empathise, then everything would be at loggerheads. How will anyone know what is right or even understand anyone else?” – John Rushton
Technological innovation is not yet up to speed with what things are supposed to do. Procedures are often badly designed and over-complicated, so frustration can easily set in. Rushton highlights the scarcity of bright technologists who are equally skilled in EQ as being the major problem. This obvious imbalance needs to radically change in the next decade, if we’re going to build a happy society, as well as a super-efficient one.
This trend is likely to continue with wearable technology and software implants, which could expose us to unforeseen forms of control and exploitation, unless we are skilled in EQ to stay balanced, healthy and aware. Rushton states that having good EQ also reduces stress, not just on a personal and professional level, but on a societal level as well.
Thus, it’s vitally important that AI be human-centred by design to avoid the creation of problems such as isolation, loneliness, mental illness and depression. This remains largely unexplored territory, although Rushton is cautiously optimistic about a society managed by AI.
“No one should be disadvantaged at all by AI, in fact all groups in society should benefit from better care and responses with the integration of EQ and AI. However, a mammoth change is coming, and we need intelligent and intuitive people at the fore front of AI who can not only create it, but know how best to implement it.” – John Rushton
Leading with Emotional Intelligence
Technology is neither good nor bad. Currently, it’s the human interface that determines how it’s used and the outcomes generated with it. It will be people with strong EQ who are better placed in a digital society to adapt to the rapid changes often associated with disruptive innovation.
EQ is about empathy, and unfortunately this is where many corporate and governmental departments fall short of the mark, as they are not physically capable of this. The people who should be showing others the way are in themselves inept, and we urgently need to address this EQ skills shortage, alongside the technical one.
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