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Israeli voice analysis firm plans to spin off metaverse-focused company

Israeli voice analysis firm plans to spin off metaverse-focused company
 

After 22 years of an almost stealth-like corporate existence, a tiny Israeli artificial intelligence firm is making more ripples in voice and emotion recognition.

The company, Nemesysco, reportedly with fewer than 20 employees, has decided to spin off its emotion-detecting algorithms as Emotion Logic. The still-forming startup will focus on improving automated communication and adding depth to the also still forming metaverse.

Emotion Logic is seeking up to $10 million in funding to bring its first products to market to bring emotional sensitivity to the metaverse and Web 3.0.

That would leave Nemesysco with finance, corporate and security markets for voice analysis. The proposed deal was reported by VentureBeat.

Executives at the company boast that their AI algorithms can hear evidence of fraud, embellishment by job applicants and flagging focus in employees in people’s voices, in real time or recorded.

They also say they can identify emotions in voices, including the subtler grays of depression.

The science behind these claims has always been contested, with some experts in the fields of psychology and law enforcement wondering if this might be the new phrenology. In fact, Marcel Kolaja, a Member of European Parliament with the Pirate Party, called for a prohibition on emotion recognition systems on the continent this week. He acknowledges possible benefits for health research and people with autism, but expresses concern over the accuracy and fairness of such systems in marketing and business intelligence applications.

Where the executives arguably get more controversial, however, is in online marketing material that notes that a person talking to a group of friends might sound different — more relaxed — than when answering questions from a police officer.

Emerging voice analysis applications

Fortunately, according to the company, Nemesysco’s layered voice analysis algorithms can tease the truth out of a voice recorded on “almost any source.”

It sounds like the company is saying that if an employer or investigator somehow happened to get hold of an accidentally recorded conversation, its tools could maybe do everyone a favor and analyze it for telling inflections.

Executives this month also announced a distribution deal with Spire Solutions to sell human resources tools into the Persian Gulf and portions of Africa. In the last several years announced various deals in Japan, South Africa and India.

An earlier story by VentureBeat outlines recent deals involving other players in the sector.

Vocalis Health, another Israeli biometrics firm, has worked with the Mayo Clinic on COVID biomarker research, according to VentureBeat.

Winterlight Labs is working on similar science, separately, with Johnson & Johnson, Genentech, Pear Therapeutics and others.

Sonde Health is in trials on a Parkinson’s-related algorithm and has licensed code for spotting depression from Lincoln Laboratories.

The focus of that story, however, is Ellipsis Health, which has raised $26 million in a series A round. Ellipsis claims its software can spot depression and is part of a pilot project with health insurer Cigna.

Growing as it apparently is, the emotion-detecting and voice analysis segment is following a path many other biometrics firms have — bagging some research and pushing out product with little transparency, at least for the public.

While it is true that emotion detection might be finding acceptance among the consumers and business executives (at least in the United States), it is far from certain that many people will like being forced onto a couch by an algorithm regardless of who is doing the forcing or how accurate the results.

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