All of Us

The Role Of Augmented Intelligence At A Time Of Stress

by Mike Critelli

Multiple events remind us about the fragility of peace and safe travels, the risks in our economic environment, and the chronic concerns about extreme weather events during summer months. These combinations create multiple sources of stress.  

On top of all these events, which are reported endlessly because they draw in and retain readers or viewers, is the perceived risk that artificial intelligence will cause many jobs perceived as secure to become obsolete.

The Gallup organization has done a great deal of research on the interconnectedness of various kinds of wellbeing. At the MakeUsWell Network and in our work on outbound marketing communications at MoveFlux, we have built into our algorithms the inter-relatedness of these five categories of wellbeing:

  1. Physical and mental health

  2. Financial wellbeing

  3. Career wellbeing

  4. Environmental wellbeing

  5. Social wellbeing

A positive or negative input to any of these five categories spills over into the others. We understand that the framework for augmented intelligence applied to wellbeing requires human intelligence to understand these linkages.

We have used our MoveFlux brand for our flagship offering to organizations that need generative artificial intelligence to create marketing content. But it has a strong linkage to our MakeUsWell Network, because we and our clients need to understand the sources of stress in the populations to which they are communicating or marketing. We also need to use underlying messages and analytics to defuse that stress.

Our algorithms go far beyond what I will describe here in targeting words, phrases and messages that both acknowledge and reduce stress. How can messages achieve both goals?

  • Explicit acknowledgment that what anyone in the audience experiences is likely to be experienced by many others. Stress decreases when we learn that we are not alone.

  • Recognition that what we are experiencing today is neither completely unique nor qualitatively and quantitatively worse than past eras. We do a poor job teaching history, so we tend to believe that the past is better than the present. This is true in terms of political divisiveness, economic conditions, and even climate-related issues.

  • Reminding our audiences that anger, radicalism and violence is an attribute of a very small part of any population, including ours. Regrettably, the advertising-based media model causes both social and news media to give greater prominence to the words and actions of this unrepresentative part of the population. On a daily basis, we are unlikely to encounter violent people, except in a few pockets in major urban areas.

  • Most importantly, we must remind every audience in the most powerful way we can of President Franklin Roosevelt’s timeless advice in his first radio address during the depths of the Great Depression: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

After the dual threats to our Pitney Bowes business from 9/11 and the anthrax bioterrorism threat, I challenged our leaders and employees to reframe how they thought about these horrific tragedies. I said: “We know and have experienced the negative effects of both of these tragedies. What can we do to protect ourselves and others against their recurrence and get compensated for achieving that protection?” Reframing is a critical psychological coping mechanism.

We welcome your engagement to help us reach out to any organizations willing to take the necessary steps to incorporate generative AI into their outbound messaging to employees, customers, communities and other stakeholders.