SAN ANTONIO — The novel coronavirus is driving panic across the globe. Surprising? Probably not. But there is technology to measure the anxiety; some of it can even assign a score to our reactions. Cognovi Labs uses it to gauge emotion and deliver an outcome.
“If we can identify peoples' underlying emotion when they talk about travel or Nike or politics or whatever, and we can extract those emotions, we should be able to translate that into a motivational score to behavior prediction," said Beni Gradwohl, the CEO of the Columbus-headquartered company.
Cognovi Labs, an emotional analytics company, launched in 2016 prior to four years of developing its core technology. That tech is now referred to by the company is emotional Artificial Intelligence, or emotional AI.
The fuel that runs it: emotions.
“We measure how people make decisions at-scale and in real-time,”’ Gradwohl said.
According to Gradwohl, words from social media, blogs, forums, client transcript data or even conversations that are publicly available are analyzed and aggregated.
He said the emotional AI identifies what people are talking about, how they say it and how they felt when they say it before translating the data into action.
Cognovi Labs is interpreting the emotions associated with the the novel coronavirus using a crisis monitor. The device gauges emotions across the globe on the company’s website; it's as simple as a point-and-click for usuers to get results on any location.
The site aggregates results for six color-coded emotions: Joy, anger, fear, sadness, surprise and disgust. The feelings are connected to health, life activities like traveling and dining, shopping, and finance.
A panic score for this pandemic can reach back as far as January. There is also an awareness rating.
At the time this article was bring written, Texas, which is seeing a surge in coronavirus cases, registered a 75 panic score. Per the site, 96 is the state’s highest panic value, and that registered at the end of January.
Anger, according to Cognovi Labs, is the dominant emotion associated with the virus. That's followed by sadness, fear and joy—which could be hope and faith.
In Bexar County, the panic score climbs. The Cognovi Labs technology shows the subject of masks elicits panic, fear, anger, sadness and disgust.
Dining, according to the emotional AI, reveals a mixture of anger and fear. Anger is the commanding emotion connected to in-store retail shopping. Fear, meanwhile, is the primary influence when it comes to paying bills.
Gradwohl said his company's analytics uses this information to help companies and municipalities develop strategies.
“If we want to make sure we come out of this pandemic safe – and not just physically safe, (but) mentally safe – we need to measure," Gradwohl said. "Every one of us has a role to play."