Do you really want to be a robot?

Posted by on April 13, 2018 • 2 minute read

Do we think it would be better to be feelingless or emotionless and like a robot? Or do we want to embrace that we are feeling beings and do something to make them work for us?

 

Are we all going to get AI envy?

Earlier this week I was forwarded an article about how it is impossible to imbue artificial, or machine, intelligence (AI) with emotions because emotions aren’t programmable. I reflected, rather ruefully, that AI in its current form has been developed to dovetail perfectly with the current overarching culture. What better than to have an automaton to do the work tirelessly. To carry out instructions without argument and the messiness of guilt, disgust, sadness, anger, depression and all of the other difficult feelings that cloud us “mere” mortals.

It occurred to me that in some business environments this is what is demanded of employees. No untidy, messy or difficult emotions, please. In fact, keep any loud and quiet positive ones in check too. We can’t have too much laughter in the workplace. Just work your 10-12-14 hour or more days. Remember to bow to the god of return on investment because, you know you are the most costly of all the costs in the businesses expense line. Although this sounds very cynical I don’t know of many businesses that truly see their employees as their most valuable asset. Otherwise why would the business get rid of that ​most valuable asset​ when the ROI looks a bit thin, then?

Like it or not, we are feeling beings

Are we going to get AI envy? Do we think it would be better to be feelingless or emotionless? Do we really want to be more like that robot? Do we think that our bosses would, perhaps, prefer the robot worker over us, one that does not cry, or moan, or argue? Forget being replaced by another person, could being replaced by a robot be the next threat, and not only for the manufacturing environment?  As a species our rational intellect is highly valued but, like it or not, we are feeling beings. Like it or not, our feelings will win every time, especially when we try to deny, avoid, numb and control them. First we get physically sick, then burnout looms, and eventually if we haven’t developed some form of addiction, we might get some or other type of mental illness. And lets not forget those dread diseases…

Feelings are the way our body says: “Take note; something in your life needs attention!” Our toolbox, however, is woefully empty with ways to manage our difficult and unpleasant feelings. Traditional interventions like psychotherapy and counselling often focus on the content of what and why we feel the way we do. They entail extended time frames and resources, both of which are in short supply for the average worker bee.

5th Place uses a different approach with Shape of Emotion, which focuses on the structure of what we feel. It is ​content-free​, ​gentle, safe, easy to learn​ and ​use​ and ​quickly​ clears the effects of difficult feelings allowing for a return to a centred and resourceful state. Much better than being a robot, ​Maschinenmensch​.

Join the resistance! Engage with us about how you can regulate your difficult feelings.

 

Chantal Dawtrey

Chantal loves to learn and loves to work with people who want to learn. She is the co-founder of 5th Place and co-creator of Shape of Emotion.

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