Social Intelligence Can’t Be Automated, Part 2

In the second blog of this brief series, Dan Day of TRACOM Group discusses the impact of AI on future employment and how Social Intelligence skills can help humans remain viable in a changing world.

Social Intelligence vs. Artificial Intelligence

Read part-1 here >>

…Let’s be clear, we’re not predicting the end of mankind, but rather pointing out that humans need to change and adapt in order to prevent getting fired by a robot!

Don’t Get Fired By a Robot

Dr. Casey Mulqueen, organizational psychologist for the TRACOM Group, says it’s clear that organizations of the future will require people with flexible mindsets and interpersonal skills so they can deal with constant change and build meaningful relationships.

“The thing about technical skills is they have a half-life; eventually they’re no longer up-to-date,”Dr. Mulqueen said. “It will take ‘social intelligence,’ which can’t be automated.“

“These are fundamental skills and, once you learn them and they become your new habits, they last a lifetime,”he said. “These skills accelerate our human capabilities and set us apart from AI.”

This is especially true in these four core areas:

  1. Communicating: Understanding differences in how people behave and interact.
  2. Connecting: Developing deeper, more meaningful relationships.
  3. Adapting: Being able to withstand change and grow through adversity.
  4. Innovating: Proactively causing change and disruption.

Social Intelligence skills do not come naturally to most of us. What a lot people don’t understand is that we’re hindered by cognitive biases that distort how we think, act and react to the world around us, and this affects our Social Intelligence.

All people are affected by cognitive biases, a distortion in thinking that leads to mistakes and bad decision, which happens because our brains are essentially lazy – we look for quick interpretations of events and easy solutions to problems. This is why people develop habits, so they don’t have to use precious energy.

Habits and shortcuts are ubiquitous—some research suggests that we spend about 40 percent of our waking hours doing things that don’t require any active thinking. That’s easy on our brains and conserves energy to think about other things, but the side effect is that we’re often oblivious to what’s going on around us, and we make bad decisions without realizing it.

Think of your work commute and how much of it is done on autopilot. You’ll drive for thirty minutes without any active thinking about what you’re doing. This happens because our brains are using shortcuts and we aren’t always paying attention to what’s going on around us.

These biases evolved for good reasons. They helped us to process information quickly, meet basic needs, and survive in hostile environments. But in the modern world they come with costs.

Next in the series, the final blog– How to Break the Biases –we will reveal ways to move past biased behavior to become more Socially Intelligent.

Read part-3 here >>