We are at a moment in the timeline of technology and humanity when empathy has never been more important -- for both. In this look from Minter Dial at the deeper meanings of empathy, it's easy to see why an inside-toward-outside approach is critical whether we're speaking broadly of a company's brand values, or more specifically of the ability of an AI-driven bot to make us feel understood.
With regard to the former (companies), Dial demonstrates why values communicated to the outside world matter little if they aren't lived within the very fabric of a company. You can't fake empathy, because it will show up in the behaviors of your newest and lowest-ranking employees.
And for the latter (artificial intelligence), a programming team's diversity and gender makeup will have a significant impact on how the bot interacts. In particular, women have been scientifically shown to demonstrate more empathy, but are rarely part of the programming team!
None of these are small issues, and are worth a significant examination.
At a time when we wonder how Facebook and other companies know what we've just read or viewed, and what we *will* look at based on those behaviors, it's easy to feel that the overlord robots are encroaching. But the road has just begun, and must be crafted carefully. Minter Dial does a wonderful job at examining the most important pieces of that road, and where the lines are. (By the way, he also clears up the difference between "empathic" and "empathetic," which has been nagging at me forever!)