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How Happiness Technology Is Affecting Our Everyday Lives

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur Contributors are their own.

When the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) comes up, it often evokes different reactions. Some people are excited about the possibilities, others are suspicious and skeptical.

AI is already being used to solve a wide variety of modern problems. From medicine to marketing to productivity and beyond, AI is constantly improving the quality of our lives.

But can AI make us happier? Let’s see what the research says.

How “Happiness Tech” increases employee satisfaction and company results

Since 2006, Dr. Yano on the idea of using AI to measure a person’s happiness. Under his guidance, Hitachi developed special badges for individuals tracking activity patterns. The data from these badges is then measured against a user’s subjective happiness reports and objective data points such as schedules and emails.

This combination of data made it possible to accurately track activities, events, and interactions that were correlated with high levels of happiness. Dr. Yano even went so far as to develop an app that delivers personalized “happiness recommendations” to employees based on the data collected. This app concept has been tested with more than 4,000 people in various environments.

There are already several similar apps that anyone can download. That means everyone can try this AI technology.

Improving employee satisfaction also helps companies. The use of this AI technology enables companies to use the so-called “psychological capital”, A phrase coined by Professor Fred Luthans. Helping employees improve their results not only makes people happier, but also significantly increases productivity and profits for companies.

But how about AI to make us happier outside of work? Happiness technologies also have their place in our private lives.

Related: Ami-chan, the artificial intelligence doll that accompanies elderly people in custody

People need a personal connection to be successful. Can robots fill this void?

During the lockdown, the importance of the human connection was strongly emphasized. At the same time, the need for AI and related technologies was also highlighted. We relied on technology to keep the world going and to keep in touch with friends and family.

We also rely on technology to stay healthy and happy. In fact, without “happiness technologies” like video chatting, entertainment, telemedicine, and online conferencing, we would be living in a world that is incredibly fragmented and psychologically harder to endure.

Are AI bots the future of connection? Should they be?

One aspect of AI that was critical to the mental health of many people during the pandemic is socialization. Chatbots and interactive robots have at least partially been able to meet our need for intelligent connection when we are feeling lonely.

An example of this is Mitsuku. Mitsuku is the world’s most popular English-speaking chatbot and has won the coveted Loebner Prize (an annual Turing test competition) five times. It is committed to being able to have conversations that feel very real.

Creator Steve Worswick says, “Mitsuku doesn’t pretend to be able to replace a real person, but she’s always available when someone needs her instead of talking to the four walls.” This shows an understanding of the benefits of the AI bot.

Another example of positive human-AI interactions is the charming one Cozmo robot. Cozmo is an AI powered little robot with constantly evolving skills and abilities based on human interactions. It can recognize faces, learn names, and use facial expressions to convey various emotions. Here, too, human interaction should not be replaced, but supplemented if necessary.

In these cases, the question remains whether people should rely so completely on technology when communicating. The idea of building human-like connections with AI has both positive and potentially negative aspects.

An obvious benefit is that these robots are always available. They never sleep, are busy, or in a bad mood so they can provide psychological support to people who feel alone. In the same way, artificial intelligence can also monitor trends in a person’s behavior and speech patterns, and notify loved ones when they notice changes. AI relationships can also be beneficial for people with autism or language difficulties. Robots never get impatient or offended, and they never tire of answering questions or doing speaking exercises.

However, AI is a double-edged sword. Too much reliance on AI avatars for social interaction can result in a person being less able to meaningfully connect with real people. AI interactions have a certain comfort and a certain predictability. In some cases, this can affect a person’s ability to deal with unpredictable and emotional human interactions.

Overall, I believe AI is a valuable tool in helping people stay connected. It even plays an important role in increasing a person’s happiness by offering human-like connections in times of need.

Related: Could This Robot Really Be Your Marketing Writer?

New trends in AI technology

One problem that the business world has been working on for years is finding a reliable and discreet way to analyze employees’ daily activities in order to increase productivity and engagement. Research clearly shows that happiness correlates with better performance, so this trend of tracking and improving employee satisfaction has gained popularity.

As part of this trend, AI is being used for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and content intelligence. These new technologies allow more freedom and creative problem-solving opportunities at work as they take on many of the everyday, repetitive tasks that people don’t like.

Juniper Research estimates that these new technology trends in the financial sector will grow about 400 percent, from $ 200 million in 2018 to $ 1.2 billion in 2023. RPA is clearly a trend that will continue.

AI does even more for the financial sector. Intelligent information processing technology helps employees to handle the flow of data more easily. Financial institutions also use it to streamline routine processes such as account opening, lending, technical support, and data analysis. Such a significant increase in efficiency makes a significant contribution to increasing employee satisfaction, lowers the fluctuation rate and attracts top talent.

Another trend that is interesting for business is the use of AI to identify important information about employees. The right technology can help management find out which people are strong, innovative leadership materials, as well as those who need improvement or interfere with the overall workflow.

AI is here to stay, and it has the potential to make us happier

Artificial intelligence is quickly becoming an essential part of our daily life. From Alexa and Siri to Mitsuku and Cozmo, the fact is that AI can make us happier, healthier people.

From a business perspective, AI is already an important part of a long-term strategy for making employees happier and more engaged at work. Whether through mood tracking or simply releasing people from repetitive tasks, I believe that artificial intelligence will play a much more important role in companies in the near future.

So does AI make us happier? It looks like this. As we continue to explore the limits of what artificial intelligence can do for our society, AI technologies will continue to improve our happiness and quality of life.

Related: What every entrepreneur needs to know about artificial intelligence