Huawei to invest in developing emotional AI

Huawei has announced it will make changes to its AI voice assistants in order to make them more “emotionally interactive”.

CNBC has reported that the smartphone giant plans to invest in developing the emotional intelligence of its voice software, in order to create a “voice companion to fulfil some of its users’ emotional needs”. Emotional AI will be able to detect a user’s mood from their voice and come back with an appropriate response.

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Currently, Huawei’s voice assistant is used by around 110mn Chinese customers on a daily basis. James Lu, director of Ai product management at Huawei, reportedly told CNBC that an aim of the software will be to keep the conversation going on longer than necessary so that users feel a sense of companionship.

Lu told CNBC: “Huawei’s new digital assistant, powered by AI, will try to continue the talk as long as possible so that the user does not feel he is alone… the first step is to give your assistant a high IQ, and then you have to give him a high percentage of EQ emotions.”

Huawei has cited the film “Her”, which featured an AI assistant called Samantha, as an inspiration for the development.

In an interview with CNBC, Huawei’s VP of Software Engineering, Felix Zhang said: “We want to introduce emotional interactions. We believe that in the future all of our end users will want to interact with the system more passionately.”


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