Empathy is a distinctly human trait.
Whether we love or hate it, artificial intelligence (AI) has undoubtedly reshaped how we live, work and interact. From iPhones to self-driving cars, we have adapted our lives around technology, and most recently, AI. Despite AI’s robust capabilities, there is one crucial aspect that it will never be able to replicate: empathy.
It’s evident that AI cannot replace the work of individuals in specific industries like health care and politics. Yet, it is equally essential to understand the limitations of AI in a heavily online-based sector, like communications.
What is Empathy?
To embody empathy is to walk in another’s shoes, to understand and share the feelings of someone else and to gain a new perspective that goes beyond understanding words; it involves interpreting body language, facial expressions and tone. These subtle but valuable cues allow humans to grasp the essence of someone’s emotions – a necessary characteristic of being a PR practitioner.
When we interact with others, we utilize empathy, such as warmly greeting a client, giving our full attention in meetings or being curious about colleagues’ interests and lives and offering constructive feedback. We talk so much about artificial intelligence and its role in the workplace, but what happens when emotional intelligence is missing? The human connections we make with one another will inevitably suffer.
Empathy in Public Relations
Human beings are inherently social creatures. We place great importance on our relationships with others, and empathy emerges as a pivotal element that fosters these connections. In public relations, it’s vital to establish a rapport with our clients, the media and our target audiences. Whether we share a warm greeting with a reporter, ask clients about their focuses or engage with target audiences on social media, we seek to connect, empathize and understand. Emotional intelligence will always play a crucial role in communications and is something that AI will never be able to replace.