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

Hello, Hackernoon community!

I am Rana Gujral :wave:t3:

I am the CEO of Behavioral Signals, speaker, investor and dedicated voice for conversational AI and emotion AI.

I am very excited to be answering your questions LIVE on September 30th at 9:00AM PST.

Feel free to add this to your calendar or ask a question below. Talk soon!


Hi, thanks for doing it!
What are the top 5 advice you’d give to someone willing to become a successful entrepreneur?

What makes the best conversational AI app?

Hey there! How to teach AI to understand humans emotion while engaging in interaction?

Can you share the best use of AI for social good, mayber from your professional experience?

Hi Rana! What is the future role of emotion AI in health care improvement, if any of course?

What are some of the risks of using AI to interpret human emotions and how can they be overcomed? Thanks!

How do you think the moral norms in society might change if AI becomes self-aware?

Hey! Can you recommend some of the resources to learn more about emotional AI? Thanks!

What type of companies are the most profitable in terms of investment?

Would you rather teach a robot to diferentiate emotions or human to automate work processes? And why

Can you please share the story of Behavioral Signals founding?

Hey @RanaGujral thanks for taking the time. I’ve been very keen on AI’s potential impact on customer service, like how to prioritize inbound emails (and have been experimenting with how AI can order story submissions). I read that your company “Automatically matches each customer to the best-suited agent using voice data and emotion AI” — my question is taking a look at how machines can imitate humans — what is emotion AI’s major breakthrough of the last decade? And what will be the breakthrough in the next decade?

Hi! What is the statistical error of emotional AI apps in general? How much of an influence does it have?

Hi @jonathan-coder - This is a great question and we can chat at length about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. I feel there are several elements of skills and experience that will determine your success but perhaps the most important aspect is “mindset”. You must start to think like an entrepreneur. Some of the ideas I have spoken about are listed in this brilliant summarization by Ernestine Siu:

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Hi @osho - Great question! Conversational AI is the tech that allows computers to speak human and communicate the way we do. It’s not just one thing but instead a set of capabilities that allow inanimate systems to recognize human language and understand what is being said, and respond in a manner a human will respond. What makes a great conversational AI app different from an average app is the one that can enable computers to not just process “What” is being said but in addition" How" something is being said. This is what a human conversation is all about.

Hi @andy-connory - This is exactly what we do! It’s a complex methodology but in essence: Audio recordings are first processed to separate speech from noise or silence and then determine who spoke when. Next, we extract a rich set of interaction-level and speaking-style related features such as pause duration, speaking rate, and intonation-related characteristics, at various temporal resolutions. Overall, more than 600 features are used to represent an utterance in the recording in the domain of emotions and behaviors. Based on these features we then train a set of deep models to identify various emotional and behavioral states. Last, a separate set of models is trained on these emotional and behavioral outputs to predict the domain-specific KPIs.

Hey @irwin23 - One possible application would be to build capabilities that supports psychologists, by using this technology to capture the early onset of mental health issues, during interviews with patients. This can help psychologists in a more accurate diagnosis and to formulate a personalized targeted medical treatment, using real analytics to enhance their own diagnosis. This technology can capture the emotions in a voice without taking into account the context of what is being said; this can allow us to build software systems with anonymized voice data that respects and protects the privacy of the patient.

Hey @Kyle - I think the concern around using it in a social context is obviously privacy. I think that’s a legitimate concern that most people today in the connected ecosystem are worried about. We absolutely need to make sure that the privacy concerns are managed properly and that there are proper disclosures in place. We also need a novel approach to maintain this privacy. For example, our technology can capture the emotions in a voice without taking into account the context of what is being said; this allows us to work with anonymized voice data while respecting and protecting the privacy of the individual.

Hi @adam_lo - Stemming from research and a passion to bring our ground-breaking patented speech-to-emotion and speech-to-behaviors technologies to market, our founders Professors Alex Potamianos and Shri Narayanan started Behavioral Signals in 2016. We were spun out of the University of Southern California and research is still very much in our DNA!