We are in the age of machine learning, artificial intelligence, natural language understanding, internet of things and robotics all brought alive by ambient assistive companions. Everything is talking, everything has a brain…and we respond to these “presences” with many of the same feelings and reactions as if they were sentient beings. It’s not our fault. It’s 150,000 years of human hardwiring telling us that a speaking thing is not just an “it,” it’s alive and aware and connecting with us.
How might we design for Emotional Intelligence to make people feel that these experiences are useful, familiar, comfortable, positive, supportive and trust-worthy?