It's a bright April day in Boston, and Gabi Zijderveld, a pioneer in the field of emotional artificial intelligence, is trying to explain why teaching robots to feel is as important as teaching them to think. "We live in a world surrounded by all these super-advanced technologies, hyper-connected devices, AI systems with super cognitive abilities -- or, as I like to say, lots of IQ but absolutely no EQ," says Zijderveld, chief marketing officer of Affectiva, the startup that spun out of the MIT Media Lab 10 years ago to build emotionally intelligent machines. "Just like humans that are successful in business and in life -- they have high emotional intelligence and social skills -- we should expect the same with technology, especially for these technologies that are designed to interact with humans." Giving machines a soul has been a dream of scientists, and sci-fi writers, for decades. But until recently, the idea of robots with heart was the stuff of moviemaking.
The UK government is using a type of artificial intelligence that can detect emotion on social media to measure and understand how people feel on certain topics. Web science firm FlyingBinary has released the "artificial emotional intelligence" service to the government's G-Cloud marketplace, in partnership with emotional AI recognition company Emrays B.V. "The web has become a noisy space as online content grows exponentially," said Professor Jacqui Taylor, CEO of FlyingBinary. "Where once tools were in the hands of a social team it is increasingly difficult for humans using social media monitoring to understand the signals about a brand, initiatives, good news or issues." "This service uses AI technology to understand digital content from an emotional perspective and how resonant this is with an online audience before content is shared online." The two companies have deployed the artificial emotional intelligence engine as part of a newly awarded G-Cloud 10 service built for the UK government.
FlyingBinary is proud to be awarded on the tenth and latest iteration of the groundbreaking G‑Cloud framework on the Digital Marketplace. This award is especially significant as we launch our Artificial Emotional Intelligence service in partnership with Emrays BV, a leader in the use of AI for emotional recognition on the web. Important topics such as immigration, the strategic direction of healthcare services, and wider societal issues will be able to be understood with this new Artificial Emotional Intelligence G-Cloud service. FlyingBinary have been awarded on all 10 framework iterations and are proud to continue our association with G-Cloud and Digital Marketplace. Read and download the full press release, see the Artificial Emotional Intelligence service details on the Digital Marketplace, or browse our G-Cloud services catalogue.
In the evolution to humanize technology, Affectiva is carving a niche. Its software development kit (SDK) and cloud-based API allow developers to enrich digital experiences by adding "emotion awareness" to apps from games to medical devices. And that means that machines can collect data and respond to users' emotions in real time, mostly based on facial recognition techniques. It's what the company calls, Emotion AI. As noted in a recent Forbes article: "Affectiva's technology has proven transformative for industries like automotive, market research, robotics, education, and gaming, but also for use cases like teaching autistic children emotion recognition and nonverbal social cues."
Many people get frustrated with technology when it malfunctions or is counterintuitive. The last thing people might expect is for that same technology to pick up on their emotions and engage with them differently as a result. All of that is now changing. Computers are increasingly able to figure out what we're feeling--and it's big business. A recent report predicts that the global affective computing market will grow from $12.2 billion in 2016 to $53.98 billion by 2021.