Emotional Intelligence in the age of AI

Emotional Intelligence

The essential skillset for the age of AI.

Key takeways:

  • 76% of executives agree that AI and automation will increase the demand for EI skills as employees will have a more client/people-facing role
  • 80% of millennials prefer face-to-face training sessions on EI compared to virtual ones
  • 60% of organizations, on average, attested to benefits in the excess of 20% by having highly emotionally intelligent employees


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Emotional intelligence – what’s at the heart of artificial intelligence?

In transforming our world, AI and automation are blurring boundaries between tasks performed by machines and humans. As a result, certain traditional roles are disappearing and new ones forming. In the wake of this disruption, emotional intelligence (EI) offers some recourse for both employees and employers. Seventy-four percent of employers and 58% of non-supervisory employees are convinced that EI will be a key requisite for success in the years to come. EI is, after all, the one area AI finds it difficult to replicate. Moreover, it offers concrete benefits to both employers and employees. Why, then, do only 17% of organizations offer EI training for non-supervisory employees?

EI is critical for both employers and employees

We decided to find out. For the new report by the Capgemini Research Institute, Emotional intelligence – the essential skillset for the age of AI, we wanted to investigate the increasing importance and growing relevance of emotional intelligence in the age of automation and AI. To these ends, we surveyed 750 executives and 1,500 employees, and conducted in-depth interviews with over 15 industry experts, academics, and start-up executives. Our research showed:

  • EI will be a must-have skill in the future, with demand likely to rise sixfold within the next five years
  • Organizations’ people processes are not adapted to the age of the machine
  • An emotionally intelligent workforce would benefit organizations and employees alike.

Embrace the power of EI

It is necessary for employers to start building an emotionally intelligent workforce today. To do so, they should customize existing learning programs to integrate EI and make them accessible to all, modify recruitment processes to include the evaluation of EI, apply an EI lens when promoting and rewarding talent, and use technology for building a high EI culture.


Sound bites

"I see a lot of evidence of policies being drafted and put in place, but it’s like a policy document that hasn’t been put into action. There are a lot of words because people feel it is something that they should be doing, but there is very little difference to the way that people operate in reality."
Professor Rose Luckin, EDUCATE Director, UCL Knowledge Lab, University College London

"A more emotionally intelligent workforce is likely to build better relationships with customers, either directly in their interactions or through the design of new products and services. I think when you have high emotional intelligence, you tend to be more honest and authentic. These qualities have far-reaching, positive impacts on the business and the workforce alike."
Howard Davies, COO and major programme director, Freeformers

"Consider math ability. Each of us is born with some capacity to work with mathematics. But if we don’t take the courses in school that are devoted to teaching subjects like algebra, we will have little capacity to come up with ways of manipulating variables and equations by ourselves. Similarly, with emotional intelligence we can acquire knowledge in the area which will increase the effectiveness with which people use their intelligence in the area."
John Mayer, Professor of Psychology, University of New Hampshire


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