Sam Altman: Potentially Scary Good AI Is On The Way As OpenAI And Other Startups Build Emotion-Based AI Models

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and company Co-Founder Elon Musk say regulating artificial intelligence (AI) is critical because the technology is prone to creating misinformation and lacks emotional intelligence and empathy. 

OpenAI is the company behind the popular AI chatbot ChatGPT, a natural language processing tool driven by AI technology that allows you to have humanlike conversations with a chatbot.

But as AI becomes more adept at understanding human emotion and expressions, does that raise new concerns? 

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Emotion Recognition And Emotional Responses

While it does not yet recognize emotions, Microsoft Corp.’s Bing search engine using ChatGPT is presenting emotion-filled responses to some inquiries. Many users report odd conversations with Bing, including the technology professing its love or saying it wants to be alive. 

Beyond presenting emotional responses, AI is also moving toward recognizing human emotion through speech and facial movements. Researchers at Purdue University are developing an emotional AI that reviews facial expressions, movements, speech patterns, tone and eye movement to understand a person’s emotional state. The team at Purdue’s goal is to create an AI that can provide humans with mental health services. People often don’t use mental health services because of the expense and shortage of professionals, and researchers believe AI can provide an effective solution to the problem. 

RAD AI is a startup firm creating an emotion-understanding AI marketing platform. It enables its clients from the healthcare, finance, e-commerce and other industries to outperform other marketing strategies. Its technology works by reflecting human expectations for brands to act with equity, inclusion and diversity. AI has struggled to match these emotion-based biases with relevant outputs. 

The RAD AI technology creates content that reflects these human needs, so it presents marketing that resonates with customers emotionally. It examines tens of billions of social media engagements to inform influencer marketing campaigns with creative intelligence. It runs its AI through more than 600 application programming interface (API) connections to develop data that marketers use for concepting, content production and picking the right influencers for their messaging. The company is seeking additional investment on Wefunder to further refine its AI-powered capabilities, which means anyone can invest. 

Hume AI is another startup that’s building advanced emotion- and language-based AI platforms. The company is a research lab that is trying to better understand human communication within an AI model. 

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For example, it offers an empathetic AI toolkit for developers that includes facial recognition, vocal expression data, emotionally charged speech and other elements. It offers AI-based descriptions of various utterances such as “Oh” or “Hmm” and correlates those occurrences to how a person is feeling, whether they feel surprise, disgust, ambivalence or something in between. 

The company is at the forefront of generative AI, which like ChatGPT is an AI that creates a new output of something that previously did not exist. 

Critics of facial recognition for AI contend people’s emotional states are not always captured with a smile or a frown. People might hide their emotions because of various conditions or social expectations or cry because they are either happy or sad. 

There are also frequent racial and gender biases with facial and voice recognition systems. Altman and other wealthy AI leaders continue to push forward AI innovations while also suggesting the need for oversight and reflection to ensure the technology aids instead of hinders human advancement. 

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