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Coming soon near you: Smartphones, fridges and cars with emotional intelligence

Illustration: Affectiva

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Wouldn’t You Like Alexa Better if It Knew When It Was Annoying You? (IEEE Spectrum):

“What could your computer, phone, or other gadget do differently if it knew how you were feeling?

Rana el Kaliouby, founder and CEO of Affectiva, is considering the possibilities of such a world…Soon, she says, “all of our devices will have emotional intelligence”—not just our phones, but “our refrigerators, our cars.”

Early on, el Kaliouby focused on building smart tools for individuals with autism. She still thinks emotional intelligence technology—or EI—will be a huge boon to this community, potentially providing a sort of emotional hearing aid.

It’ll also be a mental healthcare aid, el Kaliouby predicts. She sees smart phones with EI as potentially able to regularly check a person’s mental state, providing early warning of depression, anxiety, or other problems. “People check their phones 15 times an hour. That’s a chance to understand that you are deviating from your baseline.”

Innovation in Context:

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