DEMO Spring: Automatic Emotion Detection Technology Wins Grand Prize

When those folks at the Verizon call center can't tell how mad I am, a company called eXaudios can give them a little help

1 min read
DEMO Spring: Automatic Emotion Detection Technology Wins Grand Prize

Turns out, that when you’re ticked off, you’re ticked off in any language. This is a good thing for startup company eXaudios Technologies. This Israel-based company has developed software that analyzes volume and intonation changes in a person’s voice and translates that information into statements about the speaker’s feelings and intent. (“You feel disrespect and rejection.” “Patronizing.”) It unveiled this technology in Palm Springs this week at DEMOSpring2010, demonstrating the system live in both English and Hebrew.

EXAudios is planning to sell this technology into call centers, where it can be used to monitor customers and agents, allowing supervisors to step in when a customer’s anger is mounting and, ideally, turn the call around. The technology has other applications—screening for Parkinson’s and other diseases, Homeland Security, but the company thinks it will take off most quickly in the call center world.

This company had all the right stuff—cool technology and an obvious market niche. I can see it having a positive effect on my life—the next time I call Verizon to complain about bizarre charges on my cell phone bill, someone who can actual do something might step into the conversation sooner rather than later.

And I wasn’t the only one who was impressed—eXaudios won the People’s Choice Award—a million dollars worth of advertising on IDG properties.

 

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The Spectacular Collapse of CryptoKitties, the First Big Blockchain Game

A cautionary tale of NFTs, Ethereum, and cryptocurrency security

8 min read
Vertical
Mountains and cresting waves made of cartoon cats and large green coins.
Frank Stockton
Pink

On 4 September 2018, someone known only as Rabono bought an angry cartoon cat named Dragon for 600 ether—an amount of Ethereum cryptocurrency worth about US $170,000 at the time, or $745,000 at the cryptocurrency’s value in July 2022.

It was by far the highest transaction yet for a nonfungible token (NFT), the then-new concept of a unique digital asset. And it was a headline-grabbing opportunity for CryptoKitties, the world’s first blockchain gaming hit. But the sky-high transaction obscured a more difficult truth: CryptoKitties was dying, and it had been for some time.

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