Staff inside Hume AI’s New York office. Photo: Hume AI
Hume AI, a small New York startup, has raised $12.7 million on the premise that it’s not enough for AI systems to understand the world’s information, they also need to understand human reactions.
why it matters: AI startups are all the rage, but most focus less on detecting human emotions and more on mimicking human critical thinking.
Line spacing: CEO Alan Cowen said the goal of his technology is to enable automated systems to recognize human joys and frustrations.
- “You don’t really feel things in your place,” Cowen told Axios. “It’s about understanding what you’re going through.”
conspiracy: Combining powerful AI technology with the ability to detect human emotions can make AI-based systems work more effectively. However, it also raises the caveat that the system could ultimately be used to manipulate these emotions.
- Cowen said the company has security measures in place, requiring customers to agree to a set of principles on how it uses its technology.
- Specifically, Hume mandates that the technology must not be used for surveillance or manipulation, and that people cannot be tricked into thinking they are conversing with another person.
- “AI should be optimized to make us happier rather than buying and clicking things,” says Cowen, a computational scientist specializing in emotions before starting Hume. say.
detail: The cash injection will allow the 13-person company to increase its headcount, aiming to expand into a private beta of the technology already in use by hundreds of companies in areas such as call center analytics, health tech and AI research. As Cowen said: Said.
- The funding round was led by Union Square Ventures, with participation from Northwell Holdings, Comcast Ventures, LG Technology Ventures, Wisdom Ventures and Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp.