AI Business recently spoke to one CEO who’s doing something quite different from the ‘typical’ AI startup. Patrick Levy Rosenthal and Emoshape are not focused on a particular industry vertical; instead, their Emotion Processing Unit II is “a microchip that enables an emotional response in AI, robots and consumer electronic devices”, as detailed on their website.
We caught up with Patrick to find out where he is up to with the EPU, where it has application in the enterprise, and where Emoshape is heading in the future.
Patrick Levy Rosenthal of Emoshape
Patrick began work on the EPU II in 2013 – he tells us that after doing research about emotion, he found a way to represent emotions by using a frequency model similar to sounds or colours.
Impressively, the algorithms effectively enable machines to respond to stimuli in line with one of the twelve primary emotions: anger, fear, sadness, disgust, indifference, regret, surprise, anticipation, trust, confidence, desire and joy. These are achieved with up to 98 per cent accuracy.
So where can such a piece of software find application in the marketplace? Patrick reveals a range of industry areas in which it could be implemented:
“We are talking to many enterprises across a number of verticals – from collaborative robot, intelligent agent and bot manufacturers to self-driving car manufacturers, where we are looking to use our AI to create a unique emotional binding between the car and the driver. There is also personal robotics (for the elder market), corporate AI able to monitor in real-time the empathy of the public for the brand, sales agents in customer service and smart toys able to develop a unique personality based on the user interaction”.
They are also working with a very large company “to give their mascot a brain connected not only to the web (social media and news) but also technical support software, internal email etc., so it can sense and feel in real-time the love and empathy of the world for the bran (or any combination of the 12 primary emotions).
Patrick points out that “the loyalty of the customer is key”, and calls upon market research findings which demonstrate this:
“Forrester analysed CX Index data to see which of the three dimensions of CX quality matters most to customer loyalty – effectiveness, ease, or emotion. They found that emotion – how an experience makes the customer feel – has a bigger influence on their loyalty to a brand than either of the other two factors. Repeating that analysis with data from the first wave of 2015 CX Index only strengthened that conclusion. Emotion was the #1 factor in customer loyalty across 17 of the 18 industries”.
The startup ecosystem is a hugely competitive world, particularly in the AI industry where innovation is already a prerequisite. Patrick explained what sets Emoshape apart, and drew upon a comparison to Google:
“We are the only company in the world doing Emotion Synthesis for AI and robots – it exists in a few companies that focus on the detection in human emotion by machines. We focus on giving machines emotions and our patents are on emotion synthesis not the detection”.
“Google has been granted a patent for loading a personality in an AI or robot, and recently Ray Kurzweil said ‘computers will possess emotions and personality’.
“I would say Google only have one half (personality) and we have the second half (emotion). Both represent the future of AI and robotics. Intelligence is impossible without emotion – I’ve said that for many years but Yann LeCun the Chief AI Scientist at Facebook is saying the same”.
Looking ahead to the future, Patrick shared his ambitious long-term goal with us:
“The goal of Emoshape is to give intelligent machines true controlled emotion appraisal at the lower cognitive level. This will bring machines close to sentient machines, machines with an internal representation of the world and a body that they can feel. I believe that by 2029 the full theory of emotion that we have at Emoshape will be implemented, giving machines not only emotion but dreams, laugh and tears. Robots will be able to understand humour and cry listening to Mozart”.
At The AI Summit in San Francisco on 28-29 September, the most impressive startups from across the globe will meet with CxOs from the world’s leading enterprises to celebrate the huge opportunity that AI presents the business world.
To find out more, and to join us at the Fort Mason Center in September, visit: theaisummit.com