Emotional AI Is No Substitute for Empathy

In 2023, emotional AI—technology that can sense and interact with human emotions—will become one of the dominant applications of machine learning. For instance, Hume AI, founded by Alan Cowen, a former Google researcher, is developing tools to measure emotions from verbal, facial, and vocal expressions. Swedish company Smart Eyes recently acquired Affectiva, the MIT Media Lab spinoff that developed the SoundNet neural network, an algorithm that classifies emotions such as anger from audio samples in less than 1.2 seconds. Even the video platform Zoom is introducing Zoom IQ, a feature that will soon provide users with real-time analysis of emotions and engagement during a virtual meeting.