AMA with Rana Gujral, CEO of Behavioral Signals and Noonies Nominee

hey @jack-maccourtney - I believe this varies greatly. At the core technology level, accuracy is measured on separate recordings of interactions. These interactions have been reviewed by human experts who have specifically identified any occurrences of human behaviors. We typically have multiple experts who need to agree on their observations (if they don’t, the recordings are considered ambiguous and they are not used for accuracy measurements). The engine then achieves high accuracy if it agrees with the human annotations. At Behavioral Signals, we’ve certainly come a long way. Our engine’s ability to deduce these signals are currently at around 97% of human ability (F Score of 0.78). We expect to end this year at 102% of human ability and in essence getting to be more accurate than an average human! For example, our engine is able to predict whether a sales call will be successful or not by analyzing the salesperson’s voice and making a prediction within the first 30 seconds of the call (with about 85% accuracy)!

Hi @brick - We can bet on two things. One is machines will become more and more intelligent and second, we will be relying on machines more and more for a lot of day-to-day things we do. We’re doing that today and this reliance is only going to increase. Those things are obvious and unstoppable. We, as a human race, are wanting to be more productive, we want to do different tasks than what we’ve been doing in the past, and we build tools for that, to automate tasks. With these two trends, with machines becoming more and more intelligent, and with us relying more and more on the machines, it almost becomes imperative that a super-intelligent machine that we are dependent on or we are interacting with has emotional intelligence. Entities with emotional intelligence are ethically and morally sound and they make more responsible decisions.

Hi @David - Thanks for the question. There are so many things to talk about, especially when it comes to how “machines can imitate humans”.

Emotional intelligence is a complicated science; We, as humans, project out a lot of affect signals in terms of how we’re feeling, whether it’s passion, anger or sadness, and there’s also a bunch of behavioral signals which are translated from the emotional cues which are “am I engaged or am I disengaged?” and so, when you talk about affect and emotional signals, we project that through a variety of different cues, as humans, we do it through our facial expressions, our body language, by saying something, or by not saying something and also by the tone of our voice. Our particular focus as a company has been around deducing emotions exclusively from the voice aspect or the speech aspects to it and the way we do it is through our focus on the tonality, not just what you’re saying but how you’re saying it and the emphasis behind the words and the specific pitch and focus around how you’re emphasizing a few things.

What we’re seeing now is that we’re interacting with machines more and more and it’s not just delegating a task for a machine to do but actually interacting with the machine and talking to it. When I’m interacting with a fellow human and the person is saying something to me and I’m saying something back, I’m not just cueing on what the person is saying, I’m also cueing on how the person saying it and trying to empathize with the cognitive state of mind of the person I’m speaking with, their feelings or the emotions behind the words they’re using. Today, that interaction is missing between a human and a machine, and as a result, a lot of these interactions don’t really have superior user experience; they’re just very transactional. Try it with your Alexa :). Our goal is to provide ability to these machines to be as good as humans when processing affect and the emotional state of mind so that they could be more relatable and have a much more user-engaged experience with a fellow human.

Hey @irwin23 - Those which are solving for a well-defined problem AND have the abilities (skills, access, resources) to execute on that vision.

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Hey @community_nick - We have tons of resources on our webpage. I’d start here:

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Hey @brick - I think yes! That’s a brave new unchartered territory. It will raise many questions around how we treat our self-aware robot counterparts? How should we interact? What duties (moral) do we have towards them? What about rights? Will morality promote fostering or thwarting that emerging intelligence? We will need to collectively tackle these!