I have been known to get moisty eyed at the cinema. I rarely shed tears before the main feature, however. That is until last week when I first saw the ‘The Long Goodbye’, the latest film to support the work of the Alzheimer’s Society.

The focus is a chilling observation about this cruellest of diseases, that those living with dementia are rather dying with it as each character-defining faculty is ruthlessly taken away. “Mum first died when she couldn’t work out how to prepare her legendary roast anymore.” Later in the spot “she died again when she asked me, her son, what my name was.”

Colin Firth’s portentous voiceover concludes, “with dementia you don’t just die once…” The final, biological death is but the last in a grizzly sequence.

My mum is similarly blighted by Alzheimer’s. Still with us but not the life force that once filled a room. Her legendary meals are distant memories and when, on my visits to her exemplary Care Home, I remind her that I am her son, she does indeed reply “Are you?”

I guess you’re beginning to understand my weepy moment, sitting in the dark at the Finchley Road Vue.

But that’s not the point.

27th March saw the death of Israeli-American Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman. Dubbed ‘the grandfather of behavioural economics’, Kahneman (with others) is credited with upending the economic theory of rational decision-making in the face of risk or uncertainty.

It is now accepted that we are prone to making important choices emotionally (often validating them rationally). Daniel Kahneman was a pioneer of this thinking.

And yet all we seem to hear about in business is AI, the inexorable rise of machine intelligence that, overwhelmingly at present, enhances and accelerates logical reasoning. Combine this with the relational desert that is a day on Zoom or Teams and what we face in the immediate future is a landscape where the erosion of our emotional instincts is a palpable threat.

Which brings me back to a picture house in NW3. The impact of the charity’s ad came from its beautifully crafted visual storytelling. Bravo to the creators at New Commercial Arts and to the client team who bought it. Its appeal was unashamedly emotional and with good reason. Powerful images move us and cut through the noise. They prompt retention, sharing, and action.

‘The Long Goodbye’ has its critics, particularly from those speaking as or on behalf of individuals facing the daily challenges of dementia. How dispiriting might this film be for them? I get it. But to raise awareness among and funds from those fortunate enough to have been spared, such potent messaging can surely be justified.

Let’s never forget how humans are wired. We are first and foremost emotional creatures, guided and controlled by our emotions. If we lose sight of this, the robots will not just sneak in. We will be giving them the front door key.