Hume CEO Alan Cowen on Creating Emotionally Aware AI

Hume CEO Alan Cowen on Creating Emotionally Aware AI

Update: 2023-12-09


In this episode, Nathan sits down with Alan Cowen, CEO and Chief Scientist at Hume AI, an emotional intelligence startup working on creating emotionally aware AI. If you need an ecommerce platform, check out our sponsor Shopify: for a $1/month trial period.

We're hiring across the board at Turpentine and for Erik's personal team on other projects he's incubating. He's hiring a Chief of Staff, EA, Head of Special Projects, Investment Associate, and more. For a list of JDs, check out:


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@labenz (Nathan)

@AlanCowen (Alan)

@eriktorenberg (Erik)





(00:00 ) - Episode Preview

(00:04:52 ) - How do you define happiness? How can AI make people happy?

(00:08:40 ) - The striking experience of trying the Hume demo

(00:09:16 ) - Building multimodal models using facial expressions, vocal signals, speech patterns

(00:12:27 ) - How Hume’s models have an advantage of LLMs when it comes to interpreting emotions

(00:13:23 ) - Assembling diverse datasets of emotional judgments via surveys

(00:15:27 ) - Sponsors: Shopify

(00:22:00 ) - Across populations, what is common or different in people’s judgement of facial expressions

(00:26:00 ) - Interrater reliability for training data

(00:30:48 ) - Sponsors: Omneky

(00:33:20 ) - The unique labelling of “awe” across different cultures

(00:36:23 ) - Customizing models for cultural emotional expression norms

(00:41:13 ) - How they determined the set of emotions recognized by the model

(00:42:50 ) - Schadenfreude as a unique example of semantic space research

(00:49:00 ) - Custom models

(00:52:42 ) - Using Hume in B2B contexts

(00:59:49 ) - The cost comparison of having a human analyze emotions vs AI

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Hume CEO Alan Cowen on Creating Emotionally Aware AI

Hume CEO Alan Cowen on Creating Emotionally Aware AI

Erik Torenberg, Nathan Labenz