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

Illus­tra­tion: Affec­ti­va


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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