Mental Health: Can Artificial Emotional Intelligence Make Us Happy?

By: Allison Kang

2, July, 2018


Artificial Intelligence - Featured - Machine Learning -


Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade.  One is a world-renowned American chef, author, travel documentarian and television personality.  The other is an iconic fashion designer and businesswoman who took a seat at the fashion table by introducing her iconic “Sam” bag in the early 1990’s.  Although different, they have one thing in common and that is they both, sadly, ended their lives this month.  “Success isn’t immune to depression” states Brian Cranston, actor, director and screenwriter.  Some may argue mental health is stronger than one’s physical health; others, the reverse.  In a fast-moving world where face-value is lesser-valued and instant gratification has taken precedence, one must wonder what the weight of depression and mental health has on humans today.  Technology and Artificial Emotional Intelligence (AEI) can now be a small solution to this larger, devious and burgeoning problem.

Let’s first define Artificial Intelligence (AI) versus Artificial Emotional Intelligence (AEI).  AI is the ability of a machine to synthetically emulate intelligence and thought patterns.  AEI is the ability to synthetically emulate emotional intelligence and feelings.  BPU Holdings is dedicated to generating the first AEI platform to focus on the individual to better himself or herself and their relationships.  The company was first created solely on this idea.  What makes us unique is that we use Natural Language Processing (NLP) for both contextual languages, such as Korean, compared to non-contextual languages, like English.  By prioritizing the individual instead of the whole, we implement GAIA to collect commonalities of the individual AI’s into a global model.

So how does AEI correlate to mental health? One of our products is aiMei Framework.  She is an emotionally intelligent automated assistant.  Able to proactively interact with the individual, aiMei communicates directly to monitoring devices to measure user activity and overall emotional and physical health.  With the rise of mobile and activity bands such as: Fitbit, Apple Watch and Garmin, we have the ability to monitor health, effortlessly.  They can measure pulse, vitals, step count, and even quality of sleep with unmatched accuracy.  aiMei Framework goes beyond these measures and interacts with other AI’s to communicate with users.  Using expert developed dialogue, it links to other existing AI’s like Alexa, Google Home, Cortana, and many other interactive AI’s to be a 24-hour automated assistant.  It can ask questions to determine mental or emotional states – even further, recognize potential scenarios of self-harm.  With medical patients, aiMei can be used for voice-distress detection.  Cardiac patients can report pre-heart attack symptoms, blood pressure levels, and state of emergencies can notify their doctors and their hospitals directly.  In the hospital, aiMei can be used to supplement nurses who are in short-demand and provide patient with a near-constant caretaker. In the home, aiMei is a companion.

Last month, BPU Holdings joined The Cloud and Autonomic Computing Center (CAC), supported through the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC) program to advance the technologies of autonomic computing.  “BPU’s AEI technology shows great potential for healthcare advances in patient emotional and critical assessment” states Dr. Salim Hariri, Co-Director and CAC visionary.

All of these interactions are able to teach the AI about the user’s schedule and patterns.  A person can train their AI with their preferences for levels of interaction and frequency.  Doctors can deliver prescriptions prior to running out and the AI can detect harmful medicine interactions with other substances, that sometimes are mis-reported with the patient’s doctor.  For example, prior to telling a patient to take their Prozac for depression, an AI might notice that the patience just drank two cups of coffee that may adversely affect and interact with the Prozac dosage.  Although aiMei framework is not a doctor, it can support a doctor through the dialogue designer.  A doctor can tell aiMei to deliver a patient reminder to take the next necessary medication or even ask if there are any new symptoms.

In the work force, aiMei can help companies and individuals can maximize performance.  Happy employees equate to successful companies.  aiMei can also be used to manage human resources by using anonymous application.  An employee’s state of well-being, emotional status and stress levels go beyond the standard management review.  Like medical devices, aiMei can monitor heart rate variability to determine patterns that trigger dangerous heart rates, high blood pressure, and even extreme fatigue.  These warning signs can be critical in helping a company build an environment where people feel safe, trusted, healthy, empowered, and understand their contribution to the progress of the enterprise.  An employee’s emotional state can better determine how to navigate professional benchmarks, reviews, and overall maximum return.

Many people today ask, “what do you do?” rather than “how do you feel?”.  Mental health and well-being are a priority.  Too often we see the effects of depression to oneself and the families and friends of those who are suffering – both mentally and physically.  We may not be able to save those like Bourdain and Spade, but with aiMei Framework, it is one step closer to closing the gap between depression and a healthy state of mind.  Artificial Emotional Intelligence and the rising number of technologies can help us monitor biometrics to correlate psychological metrics that can be huge advances in human development, medical practice, and possibly save lives.

BPU Holdings exhibited and spoke at Europe’s leading AI conference & exhibition on 27-28th June at the RAI, Amsterdam.

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Photography: Elodie Burrillon | http://hucopix.com