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Our investment in Hume AI – the future of AI-driven emotional intelligence

By: Julia Sowa, Platform

Comcast Ventures is thrilled to announce our investment in Hume AI – an expressive communication toolkit for developers – as part of Hume’s $12.7M Series A led by Union Square Ventures, with participation from LG Technology Ventures and existing investor Northwell Health.

Using APIs, machine learning models and globally-diverse data, Hume AI aligns science and technology with real human emotion, enabling developers and researchers to accurately measure nonverbal cues in audio, video and images. Historically, AI models for understanding nonverbal emotion have been limited to one widely used model established 60 years ago to identify “the big six” facial expressions: happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise, and disgust. In contrast, Hume AI’s robust datasets, comprised of hundreds of thousands of emotionally rich, naturalistic, culturally diverse and equitable samples, reveal the full spectrum of human expression.

Led by Founder, CEO and Chief Scientist Dr. Alan Cowen, an established expert in the field of affective science, Hume AI develops its models using new scientific research they conduct and regularly publish in leading journals. Check out their recent publication that reveals what vocal bursts express in different cultures! With a founding team of world-leading emotion scientists and AI researchers, and top tier machine learning and product engineers, Hume AI has the right people and technology to execute on the company’s vision: provide empathy and well-being optimization as a service for any product and any end user.

Across a number of industries and sectors, potential applications for Hume AI’s models today are vast:

Telehealth Providers: Clinical diagnosis; patient monitoring; digital therapy
Gaming: Animating and developing virtual characters; moderating online behavior
Al Research / Services: Developing the next generation of search; recommendation and
content generation algorithms
Embedded Devices, Applications and loT: Social robots; Al baby monitors; Al dashcams
(e.g., drowsiness); warehouse safety (e.g., distress)
Education / Coaching Platforms: Focus / boredom detection; student well-being;
leadership coaching (e.g., sounding confident)

In the world of film and entertainment, our colleagues at Universal Pictures are excited to explore how Hume AI’s models can enrich content through optimizing creative processes and enhancing motion graphics and audio. Leveraging Hume AI’s technology will also assist filmmakers in creating diverse and engaging stories, while maintaining their creative intent.

Separate from the potential applications for Hume AI’s models, Comcast has already successfully deployed its Emmy-award winning, AI-powered voice remote, a great example of a human-centered AI solution, trained to understand many ways of asking for the same piece of content to get customers to what they want to watch in as few clicks as possible.

We are excited about the future of empathetic AI and its potential to unlock prosocial technological advancements and look forward to partnering with Dr. Cowen and the Hume AI team as they continue to grow!