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An AI-Integrated Emotional Wellness Consultant

The Intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Human Emotion


by Mark D. Lerner, Ph.D.

Chairman, The National Center for Emotional Wellness

Creator & Principal Consultant, AI-Integrated Emotional Wellness



AI-Integrated Emotional Wellness (AIEW) focuses on the broad interface of artificial intelligence (AI)—essentially how machines think like people—and human emotion.


Unlike "Emotional AI," also known as "affective computing" or "artificial emotional intelligence," which refers to the development of systems and devices that recognize, understand, measure, interpret, simulate, and respond to human emotions (Somers, M., 2019), AIEW addresses how artificial intelligence can foster emotional wellness.


As a principal consultant specializing in emotional wellness, I work closely with the artificial intelligence (AI) community, helping them to better understand and navigate the complex world of human emotion—our feelings. I'm particularly interested in implementing AI strategies that foster emotional well-being and innovative strategies that empower chatbots and virtual therapists to emulate professionals in diverse fields.

 

Pause for a moment and try to define what a feeling is. Is it a subjective response to stimuli? Or is it a sensation? While engaged in therapy with clients, I often described feelings as "the stuff that's hardest to talk about." Today, as an emotional wellness consultant, that definition would not instill confidence in my clients. Therefore, I characterize feelings—human emotions—as complex, multifaceted components that greatly influence our decision-making, actions, and overall well-being.


I support AI development—promoting a healthy and balanced approach while integrating innovative AI technology and the complexity of human emotion—particularly how AI can foster emotional wellness. Additionally, I offer confidential support for AI leaders and the workforce as they manage their emotional well-being while navigating their rapidly evolving roles' and unique personal and professional challenges.

 

Having invested nearly four decades consulting and presenting with organizations such as the United Nations Department of Safety & Security internationally, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and numerous public and private entities, I've learned more than I've taught. One significant revelation has been the realization that emotional wellness stems from a deep awareness and acceptance of our feelings—and the ability to effectively navigate challenges and change. This realization resonates universally across cultural boundaries, making it personally and professionally relevant in diverse industries.

 

While I've engaged in the professional practice of clinical and forensic psychology for nearly four decades, AIEW consulting is different—and profoundly exciting. It does not involve evaluating, diagnosing, or treating mental disorders. Therefore, it's outside the scope of the professional practice of psychology. This enables me to provide practical information and timely support for diverse entities worldwide.

 

Engaging, interactive presentations are a key component of AIEW consulting. By delivering informative, interactive, and thought-provoking presentations with AI leaders and the AI workforce, I showcase the potential benefits of AI in enhancing emotional wellness while acknowledging limitations and challenges, such as ethical considerations.

 

AIEW consultation and developing and implementing innovative strategies offer virtually endless potential for integrating AI with human emotion. By leveraging the cognitive abilities of AI and understanding authentic human engagement, we can create a fusion of technology and human emotion that fosters emotional wellness.



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