Affectiva Joins Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society

Affectiva joins Amazon, Apple, Google/DeepMind, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft and other organizations to collaborate on ethics and implications of artificial intelligence

BOSTON--()--Affectiva, the global leader in Artificial Emotional Intelligence (Emotion AI), today announced that it has joined the Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society. Founded by Amazon, Apple, Google/DeepMind, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft, the Partnership on AI is a coalition of nonprofit and for-profit organizations that are committed to addressing the ethical, moral, and social implications of AI.

As the pioneer in Emotion AI, setting a standard for ethical AI and advancing best practices for applied AI have been key considerations for Affectiva through each stage of the company’s growth. With Emotion AI, Affectiva is realizing a world where technology and devices, infused with emotional intelligence, interact with people the same way people interact with each other. Affectiva’s core values of integrity, transparency and respect for privacy underpin every business decision, from how data is acquired and annotated to avoid bias in algorithms, to which applications and markets to focus on.

“When we started the Partnership, we knew we wanted to include startups that are truly innovating and moving the AI industry forward,” said Dr. Eric Horvitz, technical fellow and director, Microsoft Research and board chair, Partnership on AI. “I’m very excited to see Affectiva join. The team has been such an innovator on making emotional intelligence a first-class consideration in building AI systems. These and other AI technologies will touch people and society in numerous--and increasingly intimate ways. I know from my discussions with CEO Rana el Kaliouby just how passionate the company has been about directions in human-AI collaboration, and on advancing transparency and ethics in AI.”

“The merger of IQ and EQ, the cognitive and emotional, in technology is inevitable. AI is becoming mainstream. Embedded in the devices apps, conversational interfaces and vehicles we use every day, AI permeates all aspects of our lives, from how we connect, communicate, to how we work and learn,” said Dr. Rana el Kaliouby, CEO and co-founder of Affectiva. “But on the path to AI ubiquity, there will be many decisions that need to be made regarding the design, deployment and ethical uses of these advanced AI systems. It is our responsibility as thought leaders in the space to shape the future of AI, in a way that benefits people and the world at large. I am very excited that the largest technology companies in the world have started the Partnership on AI to collaborate with select startups and not-for-profits, rallying around a common goal of developing and deploying AI in a manner that is considerate of its impact on people and society.”

With its technology already in use by 1,400 brands in 87 countries around the world, Affectiva brings a unique perspective and extensive experience to the Partnership on AI. In turn, insights from the Partnership on AI will help Affectiva shape its technology as it continues to evolve, and further the company’s longstanding commitment to ensuring transparency and avoiding algorithmic biases.

“AI ethics are crucial throughout the industry, and particularly for us at Affectiva, given the nature of our work,” continued el Kaliouby. “Emotion data is perhaps the most personal information a person can provide, and at Affectiva, we not only advocate for opt-in and consent when sharing personal data, we especially believe in providing consumers with value that compels them to share this data. But we can’t stop there. AI has the potential to help humanity address important global challenges such as climate change, food, inequality, health, and education, but it’s up to us to guide the technology in the right direction. Initiatives like the Partnership on AI are crucial as we enter the next evolution of the human experience, and we’re honored to be a part of it.”

To learn more about the Partnership on AI and other new member organizations, read the Partnership on AI’s blog post on its latest expansion here.

About Affectiva

Affectiva, an MIT Media Lab spin-off, is the pioneer in Emotion AI. Affectiva is bringing emotional intelligence to apps, games, devices and digital experiences with emotion recognition technology that senses and analyzes facial and vocal expressions of emotion. Its patented software uses deep learning and the world’s largest emotion database of 6 million faces analyzed in 87 countries. Affectiva is used by more than 1,400 brands and 1/3 of the Fortune Global 100, in industries ranging from media and advertising, to conversational interfaces, automotive, robotics, healthcare and more.

About Partnership on AI

The Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society (Partnership on AI) is a not-for-profit organization, founded by Amazon, Apple, Google/DeepMind, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft. Our goals are to study and formulate best practices on the development, testing, and fielding of AI technologies, advancing the public’s understanding of AI, to serve as an open platform for discussion and engagement about AI and its influences on people and society and identify and foster aspirational efforts in AI for socially beneficial purposes. We actively designed the Partnership on AI to bring together a diverse range of voices from for-profit and nonprofit, all of whom share our belief in the tenets and are committed to collaboration and open dialogue on the many opportunities and rising challenges around AI. For the full list of founding members and partners, go to


March Communications
Stephanie Jackman, +1 617-960-9875

Release Summary

Affectiva joins Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society, to collaborate with industry leaders on ethical considerations and implications of AI.


March Communications
Stephanie Jackman, +1 617-960-9875