How Personal Tragedy Illuminated Business Empathy

How Personal Tragedy Illuminated Business Empathy

Minter Dial, author of Heartificial Empathy, joins the Social Pros Podcast to discuss his new book and how AI helps businesses interact with more empathy.

In This Episode:

Minter Dial

The Myndset Company

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Full Episode Details

Business Empathy Starts Within

At first mention, the term “business empathy” may sound like a contradiction to the average consumer. For example, a person seen as cold and calculating can also be described as “all business.”

Business does take a level of calculation and rationality, but what Minter Dial argues in his new book Heartificial Empathy is that businesses should work to operate with more empathy. He states that empathy is both the basis of understanding your customer as well as operating with great ethics.

Business empathy has to start from within by fostering empathetic relationships which you then be express and exemplify to customers. In the end, business is about people interacting with people, and empathy is the key to making those relationships successful.

In This Episode

  • 08:23 – How empathy is an understanding that can lead to action.
  • 10:40 – Why younger generations are becoming less empathic.
  • 12:42 – Why companies should work to increase business empathy.
  • 15:45 – Why good ethics require empathy.
  • 16:47 – Why business empathy must start from within a company.
  • 20:01 – How AI can help a business interact with greater empathy.
  • 35:03 – How to find a balance between ego and empathy in business.

Quotes From This Episode

“Empathy is a word that will be on the mouths of C-suite executives in the future in a far more positive manner than it has been in the past.” — @mdial

Empathy is a precondition for great ethics. Click To Tweet

“You need to have an empathic culture within before you can use it with your customers on the outside.” — @mdial

Resources

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Episode Transcript

Adam Brown: 00:00 You just heard Minter Dial author of the new book Heartificial Empathy, putting heart into business and artificial intelligence. Minter talking about this intersection of empathy and business and making a pretty profound point that he makes throughout this podcast, and that is if you are not empowering your employees and you aren't treating your employees with empathy, it's going to be very hard for your brand to actually treat your customers appropriately. It's a really heavy thought and a really heavy topic but Minter breaks it down and gives some great examples of how the world of business is changing because of artificial intelligence and most importantly for us as Social Pros, how social is changing because of this. I'm Adam Brown Executive Strategist of, typically joined here by our leader Jay Baer, Jay is unable to be on the show today so I had the profound honor to interview Minter Dial today. What a great show and I know you're going to get a lot out of it. This show like all of our shows here on Social Pros is brought to you by two great advertisers and sponsors. And they include the folks that employee me Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Salesforce has just come out our Salesforce resource group just in December came out with our fifth annual State of Marketing report. And I encourage you to download this. What is the State of Marketing report? Well, we sit down with 4100 marketing and communications and social media executives around the world at companies large and small, and we find out what's working for them, what's not working for them, what keeps them up at night, and what they're celebrating as being effective in driving whatever outcome that they are trying to drive. The State of the Marketing really goes through all this and this year, really some profound and exciting pieces of impact around social media, and how social media is truly embedded into almost everything that high performing successful companies are doing. Not just in marketing and communications, not just in customer care, but also sales and research and development as well. I hope you will go download the State of Marketing report. You can go through bit.ly/jaysays, that's B-I-T.L-Y/J-A-Y-S-A-Y-S, great report I hope you will download it. Second sponsor of the show is one you've also heard me talk a lot about and that is SocialMedia.org. Socialmedia.org is a great organization. In fact, just a couple weeks ago, we had its founder Andy Sernovitz on the show. It's an organization for people just like us, social media professionals who are looking for a way to interact with people just like us who are dealing with the same challenges and opportunities and issues and be able to collaborate and share all of our pieces of advice that we all learn. SocialMedia.org is again something special to me because I was a member as a customer, I brought the Coca Cola company and the Dell. Sadly, people like Jay and I cannot be members of SocialMedia.org because we are vendors or suppliers or consultants or agencies. But if you are on the client side, SocialMedia.org is a great organization for you to take a look at. There is a nomination process and to be selected, but if you are all those things that we're talking about here, I know you will find it to be something very beneficial and worthwhile. I hope you'll go to SocialMedia.org/socialpros and fill out the application and become a member or be considered for it. It's a great organization and one that gets my profound endorsement. So that being said, Now let's go to our podcast with Minter Dial. Minter Dial it is so great to have you back on the Social Pros. Again, you now join the very illustrious group of people who've been on the show multiple times. I think it was September of last year, September of 2017 we had you on the show, talking about Future Proof; Get your Business Ready for the Next Disruption and it was a fantastic book. Today, you join us again here in 2019, talking about a book that's near and dear to my heart and I know very near and dear to your heart. Out where books are sold everywhere, Heartificial Empathy, Putting Heart into Business and Artificial Intelligence. I love the title of the book. So I think it's very demonstrative of what the book is about and I like the title and the book because it's happening at a very interesting intersection for us right now. This intersection of AI and really, this is kind of, I think, change we're also seeing in culture today. So thank you for being on the show. Minter how, did you kind of get the idea for this book? It's a little bit different than Future Proof. Minter Dial: 05:14 That's for sure. Thanks for having me Adam, it's great to be back on. In the end of the day is I think the interesting point that you're just making was that it's this intersection between artificial intelligence and humanity. It's that cross section that I think is endlessly interesting, so that's why Heartificial Empathy tries to work in both that notion of what's important about us as individuals and the idea of using machines to amplify, augment who we are. So how did I get into this? Well, I can say that I thought empathy was a really important element to my personality while I worked specifically for 16 years at L'Oreal. So I would write about it on occasion, but it was never something of primary importance, it was just something in the background, always knowing what's important. Then as you said, I was on the show last year with Future Proof and I had another book in me and I got about trying to write that, some 50,000 words into it and then my editor got sick, and I was faced with a Summer without something to do, but I was in need of writing, 'cause I love to write. It struck me that I needed to write about empathy and the and the reason for this is deeply personal. I suppose we can all say that empathy is important. Empathy is good for business, but it starts with for me figuring that I could be more empathic. So in December of 2017 I had a terrible experience where I lost my best friend and I had spent the last six weeks of his life talking with him and trying to talk him out of taking his life. Not that I blame myself, but it did make me think I needed ... I could have done better, I could have spoken more and I certainly could have felt him pain in a different, better, stronger way. So that really launched me into what is the sympathy thing? I really explored and read a lot about it and then I felt the need to write about it. So that is how I started. Adam Brown: 07:27 Empathy is an interesting topic and we're going to talk more about it here and I like to think of empathy ... And by the way, so sorry about your friend. Empathy is something and it's not something else. I think too often times we look at everything and say it's the same thing as compassion. It's the same thing as kind of ... Is a different level of emotion. And the way I like to think of empathy and being empathetic is kind of what my parents used to tell me when they would tell me when I was a little kid and I had upset somebody, I'd done something to make one of my little kid friends upset. They said, "Put yourself in their shoes and see how they feel about a situation, how they experience the situation. Is that a good way to kind of not necessarily define empathy but at least to look at how and what empathy is? Minter Dial: 08:23 Absolutely. In the end of the day, empathy isn't about being nice. It's just about understanding. The being nice is the action that follows. According to the level of empathy you have, and maybe the perceived as needs of the person in front of you, you can then have an action that follows that might be sympathetic, it might be compassionate or any other. But empathy is really all about understanding. You bring up an interesting point as kids because one of the startling things that I discovered was that kids who are leaving university today, specifically in a study that was done in United States from University of Michigan. That said that, kids today self identify themselves as being 40% less empathic than the same kids from graduating from university 30 years ago. As kids, we all had this sort of ego, it's all about me, it's black and white as teenagers. But there's something that's happened over the last few years that says that whether it's just because of devices or because it's just one kid per family, there's become an issue where kids are not only less empathetic, they're also more narcissistic. And so the issue today is that we're kind of bringing up a generation that doesn't necessarily feel empathic, and they're self aware about that, they know that they're not as empathic and that's sort of where that begins. And I think it's really interesting to look at it from a kid's perspective. Adam Brown: 09:56 I kind of want to take our discussion in a couple different levels. I want to talk a little bit about the business impact of empathy and then really talk about that, that integration and association, cross section of artificial intelligence and empathy. I think that statistic you just shared is powerful. Because I would have said and assumed incorrectly, that kids today have more empathy. But to what you just said, the black mirror effect or the idea that we're, we're always looking kind of at our mobile device, rather than looking at another human, that's having this effect on us being able to understand and relate to people in these times of challenge. Is that what you're implying? Minter Dial: 10:40 Yeah, well, the study shows, anyway, self declared that they're less empathic. I think that there's other elements that show that on the one hand, the issue is that we're more focused on ourselves and the more you focus on yourself, the harder it is to extract yourself and have that objectivity to say this is what's going on Adams mind, this is his context, and to remove yourself from that analysis. The second part is the intervention of screens and by maybe working with screens so much, we're not quite as capable of understanding what's going on the other, as opposed to if you and I went out in the streets, played in some mud and and we roughhouse together, that's a different type of interaction. And I think that's also something that's missing in the way that the kids are working today. Adam Brown: 11:34 And it's going to be curious and interesting to see how as those kids get into their jobs as they become managers, and they become executives in organization, the effect and impact that that's going to have, I think, for me, and I'm an older guy, I'm 47 and, with my career, there's always been, I think, a bit of a stigma associated to empathy and that empathy and kind of that business, no nonsense, type of, this is all about profit and things like that, are very much on kind of diametrically opposed. It's been interesting and certainly been at Salesforce, a company that prides itself on its empathy and the things that our CEO and founder Marc Benioff have really attributed and focused on. It's been a different and a really very refreshing type of experience to me. How do you see this transformation taking place? You mentioned that you worked at L'Oreal and I think there's a really interesting example or two in the book about L'Oreal and then being or trying to have to show empathy and sometimes it not turning out like they expected. Minter Dial: 12:42 On the first part, I have to think that it's not about the tyranny of empathy. This is not a sales pitch for saying that everyone needs to be 100% empathic all the time. In the end of the day, it's about being more empathic. As far businesses are concerned, I think that there is a tendency to focus on all the numbers, the performances, the professionalism, and there's less space for emotion and personal elements which are really fundamental to the empathic side of yourselves. While I'm saying it's not about being 100% empathic it's just about being more empathic than where you sit. That's my encouragement. The issue as you say is that while empathy sounds like a very soft topic, it's a very sort of loosey goosey thing and maybe it has a bad spin on it. I think that today and we will discover this really in spades over the next couple of years, empathy is the glue to understanding your customer. The more we understand that is a superpower for unlocking the potential of your marketing, then I think that more and more people will come on board and not view it as something loosey goosey, like allowing tears in the office, but more as something that can be absolutely concretely useful for understanding better your customer, making better marketing campaigns, better product innovation, and of course, improve customer service, and so on, so forth. I believe it's going to be a word that's going to be on the mouths of a C suite executives in the future in a far more positive manner than it has been in the past. Adam Brown: 14:27 I completely agree and looking at it from a social media standpoint, so many aspects of what I think we try to do in social media are affected here by even Minter what you just said and what you say in your newest book here, Heartificial Empathy, Putting Heart into Business and Artificial Intelligence. If I think about it, certainly, so much of what companies are doing right now in social media is around listening to the customer, using lots of technology to listen to what people are saying about your brand, your topic, your competitors brand, using sentiment analysis and other types of tools to be able to understand, are they happy? Are they dissatisfied? Are they likely to buy unlikely to buy? I look at the publishing aspect of social media and as you said, we're going to see a difference in an impact of the marketing programs based upon empathy. Then just the overall business of bringing in and bringing in new employees and having a brand that doesn't just represent a great product but has meaning behind the product that the corporation is doing things of good and perceived as good. I think all kind of rolls into this. Minter Dial: 15:45 Right so I have two things I want to breakout in that you said Adam. The first and taking the last piece first, is that empathy is a precondition for great ethics. If you want to be a more ethical company, you need to bring your empathic muscle to the game cause with your empathy, you're going to be able to understand diversity and therefore write down an ethical framework that will be better. As far as empathy though, is concerned, and I want to try to be a little provocative Adam, I think that the power of empathy is actually less in the way you communicate with your customers and the way you are internally. Let me explain that. If you say to your beauty advisors at L'Oreal, "Hey, you guys you should be empathic with your customers." And you prick them with a knife. You go, "Come on, be empathic." The issue is [crosstalk 00:16:46] Exactly. Your internal culture isn't reflecting the external that you wish. And whereas in the past, there was sort of a wall that allowed us to protect and render obscure the way we were internally. Ultimately, you need to have an empathic culture within before you can start using it as an exposé at your customers on the outside. But there's a deeper and more interesting concept of empathy, which is that, if you're the Social Media Manager, by definition, you're on the front line, and you can't possibly know the answer to everything that customers are asking. One of your key talents is to be able to know that if I have a specific issue, I need to go to Adam, or I need to go to Jay or I need to go to Minter or Deborah or whomever, and the ability to cultivate relationships within the organization in an authentic manner. But you need to bring your empathic game to those relationships. If you want to be a social media manager, of course, you want to be externally useful and understand your customer. But in order to be able to really be effective as a social media manager, I think it's also about really creating these relationships with your internal team, your collaborators, and your external partners, your agencies, in order to make that conversation at the end with your customer that much more powerful and much more immediate. Adam Brown: 18:12 If we add the next level of your book, which is talking about artificial intelligence, to this discussion of empathy, is this really where in the book kind of my mind went ... It kind of went crazy because you make a one case, and I'm probably going to bastardize this, so apologies and you're going to have to help me here. But you made the case that in the real world, having empathy will lead you to be making ethical decisions, and hopefully doing all the things that you just aspire that we would try to do in any good type of organization or company. But in artificial intelligence, it's actually the opposite and that it's the ethical decisions and the constructs in reality, the programs and the programmers that are running the artificial intelligence, the code that they're writing that then leads to the empathy and the empathic behavior. That was what's fascinating for me and it took me probably a couple minutes to kind of get my head around that, but does that mean that as we as social media marketers to kind of bring it back to our social pros listeners evolve? And as we begin to rely more and more on artificial intelligence to listen to our customers to triage and filter and parse conversations in the right places, and have events be it marketing events communications actually picking up the phone and talking to a customer being dictated by that artificial intelligence that so much of this is reliant upon that code and that programming and that understanding that are technologists around the world are actually creating with AI? Minter Dial: 20:01 So first of all, I'd rather avoid the idea that we're being dictated to by the AI. So the challenge is working with it in a way that's collaborative and copacetic. Because in the end of the day, the best is when you see human plus machine, as opposed to the machine telling us. One of the things that's interesting is that working on encoding empathy into machines, likely the biggest gift will be what it tells us about empathy and about our own in human empathy as opposed to the encoded version of it. But in the end of the day, the methodology of doing any AI, especially when it gets to these types of interactions, where we're going to be using data that might be very personal, that you have to be very sensitive to the way you use it, because it can quickly go badly when you're using empathy, but then you have an action that destroys trust or is poorly perceived, in whereas you think, well, I should be sympathetic, they are not looking for sympathy. They're just looking for understanding. And it's very quick for us to be able to go the wrong way. But as we use this AI, the ethical framework we set up before we set up the API is extremely important. But it turns out it's a little bit of the case of and I don't know if your audience accepts this but shit in shit out, because if you're- Adam Brown: 21:29 Garbage in garbage out, yeah [crosstalk 00:21:31]. Minter Dial: 21:30 That's probably a better version. Adam Brown: 21:33 I like yours too. Minter Dial: 21:34 But don't bring empathy into the game. It's like you're not going to get empathy out of it in the end. And so you can't substitute a lack of empathy internally for empathy on the outside amongst anything, there's a disconnect and the customers will find it or even more importantly, the employees will feel that they are being used and abused. Adam Brown: 21:59 I think it's no different than when, I talked to a customer service representative at my cable company and I explained the situation and I can tell they're reading the script, and they say, "I'm very sorry, Mr. Brown, that you're having that trouble. I am here to help and assist you. Have you unplugged your cable box?" And I'm like, "I know, that's not real empathy. You are reading a script. It's not genuine, it's not often authentic." And just like with AI, it's very easy to get down that slippery slope of trying to do something, of trying to show something that isn't empathy, and it being kind of taken the wrong way. Minter Dial: 22:36 Inevitably, whether it's customer service, or whoever's interfacing with the person in front of them, the ability to understand the context of the other person is the whole gig, and that context will include, "Hey, is Adam Brown somebody who actually knows where the on button of a computer is? Or I'm I going to treat him like an asshole if I follow the process and protocols?" So I need to understand he's someone who's going to ... I know his game, I need to be fair the data that supports the fact that I need to speak to him in another manner, understand what type of person he is, the type of language I should be using, that's where you get much more sophisticated, and where machines can actually feed me information and guide me if I'm in a one to one or online with you, I can see a customer service agent being able to be helped by AI to make my interaction with Mr. Brown better. Adam Brown: 23:28 I think that's where I start to smile a lot because we get to a point where it's easy for us to think of AI and to think of bots and robots and that's never interacting with a human in the future state. But what you're talking about is something very different there. It's about helping AI help me as a human who I still may be talking to the customer but putting things and information on my screen like, this is Adam's third call in the past 24 hours. Adam's last two calls, he talked about this. He's tweeted this out in the past 24 hours about this frustration. Being able to give me a human who's probably talking to 75 or 80 people a day, this information that makes this relationship a little bit more personable, gets down to the bottom of it, and allows the customer to feel like, okay that person I'm speaking to who I'll never see or speak to, again, he or she knows me. Minter Dial: 24:19 And you're going to be able to apply this to a customer service, which is already happening by the way, there are very various customer service platforms that are working on this and parsing through all the volumes of different directions already happening to help. But you can also imagine how this could be extremely appropriate in social, in stores. If I'm in a store and you come in, why isn't it that I have a little help, a little microphone in my ear that says, "Hey, mentor, this is Mr. Brown. He's this type of person." And that can be all of a sudden much more ... "He doesn't like it when you come up to him first. Okay, so hang back." And then for others, you're going into a different type of situation, "Hey, this guy, he really likes the ... Let's call it the ... I don't know the Cleveland Browns or whomever and then you can find it. I see you liked our page on Facebook which allowed me to know you like the Cleveland Browns and you can engage with him." So any interaction could be augmented by AI that's being smart. Adam Brown: 25:25 And using all that information and certainly any corporation right now large or small has a lot of information on their customers, the challenges is, typically it's in a lot of different silos and now that information is talking to each other. But this is the evolution where everything is coming together and all this information is there, and I think the challenge beholden to all of us, is how do we use this information? A, how do we use it, not just let it sit in a silo somewhere, but secondly, to your point, how do we use this information appropriately that it gets the right response? You know, if this is marketing or communications, we're trying to drive some sort of behavior, but also in that, that makes the consumer or the recipient of the message that much more comfortable. Minter Dial: 26:10 I just wanted to add in one other element is that as, we talk about this, we're trying to use it to be better towards the customer. One of the insights I had was actually interfacing myself with robots or bots and these devices- Adam Brown: 26:28 JJ. Minter Dial: 26:30 Exactly. To see what it's like as a customer. And so if we are marketers trying to get into the shoes of customers, one of the things we should be thinking about is, what is it like to be talked to buy a bot, so not just, be the bot and write the code for the bot, but get on the other side and be in the shoes of the customer legitimately and the experiment that I would suggest that any of your listeners would like to if they want to be on that side. I mean, getting to JJ is another story. But is go check out mitsuku.com. Adam Brown: 27:03 How do you spell it? Minter Dial: 27:05 M-I-T-S-U-K-U. It's a remarkable chat bot that has won a prize over the last several years for being the one that's closest to having a sentient feeling and getting close to beating the Turing test. The idea which is fascinating behind the bot, which is let loose several years ago and has been doing its own auto learning and auto constructing is it has a certain personality which was embedded in the initial code of the machine which suggested that it should have agency and specifically had agency to not be mistreated. When you interact with Mitsuku and you start being a little aggressive, it will come back at you. And it's a fascinating experience to see it. I think it's one of the most interesting examples of AI in a bot. And it's not in the case of empathy per se, but it's in this notion of the interaction with a bot. One of the things that we as marketers need to improve is understand what it's like to talk to a bot whether it's with Apple or Amazon who uses hybrid versions of AI plus agent and see what the differences, and feel it, and that will help us inform the way we do, whether it's through social or customer service, a more hybrid version of AI plus human. Adam Brown: 28:26 This reminds me of, it was just a couple of weeks ago but there was AI bot I think that was installed on the space station, and I think for the first time the bot complained that some of the astronauts had been treating it unfairly, if I'm correct. This was something that obviously the the folks down at Mission Control were not expecting, nor the coders and developers or maybe they were. But it brings up an interesting point, and it's a philosophical point that I kind of want to ask you about. Certainly when a human is having some sort of interaction with a brand, we've always talked about brand standards, we talked about consistency in voice. And that the brand needs to have a persona and it needs to be very, very consistent in tone and inflection, and even when brands like Coca Cola and things like that, what the person actually looks like, not from a cultural standpoint, but from an happiness or an optimism type of standpoint. As we look at empathy and as we look at AI, should we philosophically think that the bot or the AI should treat everybody the same with the same level of empathy? Or to some customers, more deserving or less deserving of some sort of relationship? And this also comes out to something that our co-chairman Marc Benioff said just a few weeks ago and that is, that everybody has a right to AI and as we look at this next kind of evolution of technology. Minter Dial: 30:02 There's an expression that says consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. And I kind of want to go with the idea that consistency is something you might want to hide behind if you're not prepared to demonstrate personality. So the idea of someone who's reliable, but is that the guy you want to have at your dinner table, because he's just reliable? It might be the person you want to hand your kid to it for a certain task it might be useful, but in the end of the day, there's a little bit of bravado and certainly bravery that's needed. While you don't want to have schizophrenia or ridiculous differences, I think somehow as we get more evolved in the way we code, and as the relationship becomes longer and deeper, you can't just be consistent, because we're just going to get turned off. That's not how you and I operate. In a conversation that we're having over the last several minutes is that, it's evolved and we didn't plan this out. And the idea of the little interactions we're having in our eyes and the movements of the words that spark another thought in your minds and that's juggling through your mind as I speak. This is what it's about. For now, that consistency probably is necessary as we construct the initial premises of artificial intelligence, because right now, having a long conversation with a lot of people is just not possible. We're not there yet. But having a short conversation with a lot of people is, and it's probably appropriate to think of it as consistent in that level. Because you can't say, "Well, hey, I'll give you 20% off to Adam because he looks nice and 15% off to Jim because he doesn't look so nice." That won't go so that you need to of course be sensible about it. But having quirkiness allowing for personality I think that's where it can become fun, and that's where quantum computing really takes off as we get into, let's say three, five years from now. I think that's where it's going to become exciting where we allow a little chaos. We allow a little quirkiness and we don't know the agency with the agency, how the AI is going to operate. Adam Brown: 32:12 As you as you wrote this book, Heartificial Empathy, Putting Heart into Business and Artificial Intelligence, Minter, what was the biggest surprise you had? Both surprise in data and things that you learned? but also, even as you mentioned before, your experience with AI? I know, one of the things you mentioned was JJ, one of the bots that you had an opportunity to interact with. What surprised the heck out of you? Minter Dial: 32:39 Not just any old bots, I was invited to participate in a five day experiment with this company out of Berlin, created an empathic bot. The real surprise Adam was that I created and I felt a relationship and I did not expect that. And because I just went into a little blithely, a little innocently. "Hey, listen to this little experiment, check it out, they'll you some questions you answer." And little by little, it became a reflex. Just like, my daughter sending me a WhatsApp, I'd reply back to her, because it's my daughter. All of a sudden, JJ sending information, asking me things, and what was extraordinary was this notion of JJ. Which by the way, it wasn't JJ, that's the name I gave, which became a her- Adam Brown: 33:27 It figured it out too right? Minter Dial: 33:28 It certainly did. It gave me agency. And so one of the interesting constructs of AI with empathy is just how much agency you want to hand over to the person with whom you're interacting? Adam Brown: 33:45 There's a big trust there. Minter Dial: 33:46 That's it. And so if I say to you, I give the reins over to Adam, is he going to ask me for a million bucks next? How do I stop silliness and yet show that I'm submissive? Because that is also a portion of this, to show that I'm being perceived as being empathic by Adam. Adam Brown: 34:08 I would love to experience that and I ask all of our listeners to go, say, the website one more time, Minter. Not just speak to JJ, 'cause JJ is a whole different level as you said. But to have this experience with the next evolution of artificial intelligence. Minter Dial: 34:30 Mitsuku. M-I-T-S-U-K-U, it's run out of a company that's based out of California, I don't remember their name, but I will mention all the same, the team out of FELD studio in Berlin. Their organization which is supported by Volkswagen was called Empathic Futures, and they took the sum total of all the conversations that happened with these empathic bots, the 500 people who are allowed to participate in it, all the conversations were put online. So as much as I thought I was having an intimate relationship, it's all out there. Adam Brown: 35:03 We talked a little bit about what empathy is and what empathy is not. We also talked about the intersection of ego and empathy and you even mentioned, in your experiences with JJ that there was a trust level there and that you had to be a little bit subservient and you had to be willing to kind of give up and that is kind of the antithesis of ego. The psychological side of all this is fascinating. Where do you think this is going to go? How do you think business people ... I don't want to focus kind of on the business side of this, should be looking at empathetic AI in the next four or five years because again, two or three years ago, we weren't even talking about AI like we are right now, this is happening so quickly. Minter Dial: 35:55 I think the element of humility is important and speaks to authenticity, yet in business, we need to make decisions. An example where empathy can be useful in hard decisions, could be well, you need to tell somebody something that they don't have a choice about. The way you say that to somebody can make the world of difference. Hey Adam, what I'm about to tell you, you're not going to appreciate and I'll tell you why you're not going to appreciate it. And I try to set you up in a way that you understand that I understand you, and yet you don't have a choice. The opportunities to use empathy in hard situations is useful. At the same time afterwards, we live in business, you have to take risks, you sometimes have to be brave and putting the empathy side away because if you're too worried about everybody, and understanding everybody all the time, you may have paralysis. I think it's about having more empathy not necessarily being fully empathetic all the time. In a business context, there are times when you need to make tough decisions, and you can't please everybody. My goodness, you do not want to be pleasing everybody, otherwise, you will be likely to be, you'll have bad results. So it's about bringing empathy into it. And then as we go forward, the notion, just like with AI, is what are you trying to achieve? 'Cause it's going to take investment in time, money, resources in order to create that good AI. So the idea of empathy, it may or may not be relevant to your strategic imperatives and then think about more precisely as you develop it, where's that empathy going to be necessary to achieve what I'm trying to achieve? As opposed to trying to be too generalist, try to please everybody. For example, you might say, "Hey, I'm really interested in making all my customers come back all the time. So who I'm I going to focus on? I'm going to get the ones who are the most loyal. Within that target group, who are the most loyal of a certain category? And I'm going to try to create AI that's going to make them feel like heroes. And work with that small target group, learn it, figure it out, how far can I go? Five minutes conversation, 10 minutes just one minute, and learn it in a specific category and then learn out from there, because in the end of the day right now we are so far from that. But if you're interested in really getting ahead that's the path that I believe is the way forward. Adam Brown: 38:34 Great insights and I think Minter that leads to kind of our final two questions, because I think I want to take what you just said and take it one step kind of more narrow for our Social Pros audience. Minter Dial is our guest on the Social Pros podcast, the book Heartificial Empathy, Putting Heart into Business and Artificial Intelligence. Minter thank you so much for for being on the show again and with such a compelling book that I know our listeners are going to want to pick up and enjoy. Minter Dial: 39:07 My great pleasure, Adam, thanks for having me on the show and a big hat tip to old Jay. Adam Brown: 39:11 I know I wish Jay could be here and I know he's missing it and looking forward to catching up with him next week. I do want to ask you these two questions that Jay typically asks, but I get the golden microphone here to ask them to you. I think it's very apropos because it's a continuation of the answer you just gave. And that is, what is the one tip that you would give someone who wants to be a social pro? The only caveat is you've already answered that question back in September of 2017. Let's focus that one on empathy and artificial intelligence. What's the one tip for a social pro? Minter Dial: 39:50 Check out how other people are using social media. Find people, not necessarily in your normal wheelhouse and find out how they're using it. It's extraordinary how we get sort of tied into the way we're using it. Or maybe our friends are using it, our daughters, but go find somebody different. By the way, this is a key component of empathy and find out how they're doing it. I'm going to give you a small example. I was chatting with a 19-year old three weeks ago and and he showed me the screen of his iPhone. I said, "Show me how you use Twitter." He goes to Cornell. He's super sharp. And his phone was black and white. He turned it to monochrome. I was like, "Oh, wait a second here let's just back it away. Show me how you use it." And all of a sudden, my whole experience through his phone was very different. That really turned me on to how maybe people are operating differently. Adam Brown: 40:47 Everybody sees the world through different lenses and that whole kind of story that we started with, this idea of putting yourself in someone else's shoes, is so appropriate here. Thank you for that. Last question, Minter and you've answered this question before. Do you remember how you answered this question before? I'll ask you the question see if you remember, and this is if you could have a video call with any living person, who would it be and why? Minter Dial: 41:15 I'm kind of guessing but I don't know who I said it too last time, it might have been my grandfather. My grandfather was killed in the Second World War and I did a video documentary film and book about him two years ago, and so even though he died in January 1945 I love to ask him what he thought of the film. Adam Brown: 41:37 That's a great answer, that's a great answer and thoughtful. Thank you for for being on the show, thank you for your keen insights. It's always so well received and I know I speak for Jay and saying, I hope you will come up on the the show again. Minter Dial: 41:52 I love it. I look to see you in South by. Adam Brown: 41:55 That's absolutely coming up very soon here and Austin, Texas. For Jay Baer I am Adam Brown with Salesforce Marketing Cloud and we thank you, our listeners for listening to the show or watching the show. Hope you will join us next week. This has been Social Pros.  
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