Fri, Sep 18, 2020

Technology giant Huawei wants to develop the first digital assistant which evokes an emotional bond with the user to offer a more personal experience.

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

If the movie ‘Her’ comes to mind when hearing about Huawei’s plans, executives said they were inspired by the film. The protagonist in Her falls in love with his digital assistant who adapts to his emotional needs.

Today’s interactions with digital assistants like Siri are quick but emotionless and scripted experiences. Huawei wants their future assistant to be able to continue a conversation longer for a more natural and personal discussion.

“Huawei’s new digital assistant, powered by artificial intelligence, will try to continue the talks as long as possible so that the user does not feel he is alone,” said James Lu, Director of AI at Huawei’s consumer business group.

The company’s priority continues to be improving the intelligence of its assistant to ensure it’s able to carry out tasks without a user having to touch their devices in many cases.

“The first step is to give your assistant a high IQ, and then you have to give him a high percentage of EQ emotions,” continues Lu.

Prioritising intelligence makes sense, nobody wants a chatty assistant — digital or otherwise — who ultimately cannot do their job.

Do you think adding emotions to digital assistants is a good idea? Let us know in the comments.


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