AI With An Empathic Voice

Voice AI is a subset of the AI that people have been experimenting with both professionally and for personal use.

"Voice" can mean two things in English. It is both the sound we make when we speak but also when  a particular attitude is expressed. This is evident in both speech and writing when a voice takes on mood, tone etc.

The term "empathic" as used here means the voice responding shows an ability to understand and share the feelings of the human. In this AI sense, if the input is sad or depressed, the output is sympathetic and understanding.

Hume is a research lab and technology company that states their mission is "to ensure that artificial intelligence is built to serve human goals and emotional well-being. Hume’s Empathic Voice Interface (EVI) is the first AI with emotional intelligence. It understands the user’s tone of voice, which adds meaning to every word and uses the user's vocal signals to guide its own language and speech. You can talk to it like a human so it should respond better, faster, and more naturally. Developers can use EVI as an interface for any application. Hume's EVI is an API powered by a empathic large language model (eLLM).

The foundation of their research at Hume is semantic space theory (SST), which is an inductive, data-driven approach to mapping the full spectrum of human emotions.

EVI will be generally available in April 2024. A demo is available online.

Valentine's Day with Artificial Intelligence

valentine card kids
When love was easy. Or at least easier.

Since my dating days were before dating became an online thing and literally before online was a thing, I haven't really kept up with dating and technology. 

I have friends who got divorced and dipped back into dating and used online dating apps. Over 300 million people use dating apps worldwide, according to a 2023 report by Business of Apps. To visualize this figure, it’s almost the entire population of the U.S. or half of Europe’s population.

Tinder is an online dating and geosocial networking application launched in 2012. On Tinder, users “swipe right” to like or “swipe left” to dislike other users’ profiles. A profile has their photos, a short bio, and some of their interests. Tinder uses a “double opt-in” system, also called “matching”, where two users must like each other before they can exchange messages. In 2022, Tinder had 10.9 million subscribers and 75 million monthly active users.

Renate Nyborg was Tinder’s first female CEO, but she recently left the popular dating app and launched Meeno which is described as relationship advice rather than dating. For example, you might ask for advice about dealing with your boss. The Meeno app uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help solve relationship problems. She predicts that the future will be less about online dating and more about real-life encounters.

The numbers for online dating are huge but Nyborg and others see a trend (with Gen Z in particular – 18 to 25-year-olds) that they are more interested in meeting people organically.

When she left Tinder, she had said she wanted to use tech to “help people feel less lonely” and dating is only a part of that. According to a 2023 report on loneliness commissioned by the European Commission, at least 10% of European Union residents feel lonely most of the time. A Pew Research study revealed that 42% of adults surveyed in the US said they had felt lonely during the COVID-19 pandemic. So, Meeno is intended to be your mentor, distinct from a virtual girlfriend, boyfriend, clinical therapist, or coach.

What can AI do in all this? Broadly, AI can speed up the processing of all these apps. It can analyze very quickly user behavior patterns and datasets to identify potential matches based on shared interests, values, and preferences. AI can filter profiles for inappropriate content, such as nudity or hate speech. It can analyze a user’s swiping patterns, interests, answers to questions, and personality results to introduce them to tailored recommendations.

There are other apps, like Blush, Aimm, Rizz, and Teaser AI, that use personality tests and physical type analysis to train AI-powered systems. Some apps use machine learning algorithms to scan for attraction and then suggest images of real people that the app thinks the user might find attractive. these are more for “dating” than everyday relationships which is Meeno’s current target.

This post first appeared in a different format on Weekends in Paradelle

Simple AI-Generated Imagery Programs

Cross-posted from my blog at


Artificial intelligence scares some people. When AI takes over human roles and takes the form of a human, that is quite scary. AI writing essays scares teachers and pleases students. It also scares people whose income comes from writing. None of us want to be replaced by a machine.

I have found that AI used to create images seems to be less scary. Oh sure, if I were a graphic designer, artist, or photographer, I would be frightened that my career could be replaced by AI. And you have heard the horror stories about "deep fakes" of photos and videos. But I have been playing with a few simple programs for generating images using AI. These are all free - for now. I do some drawing, painting, and photography myself with my hands, but I would not rate them as professional and this AI method is just so easy. 

One of the first things I tried was Microsoft Bing  These programs are very easy to use. You input text - a prompt - describing what you want to see created. The more detailed the prompt, the more likely it is that you will get a result that matches the one in your imagination. Beyond that, you don't have a lot of control. You can't choose colors for small parts of the image but you can describe a style (like a Renaissance painting, or anime, etc.) and add details.

For example, you could ask for an illustration of a woman. That is very broad. Let's try again - an Asian woman on a computer monitor. How about a man creating an image of an Asian woman using his phone and Bing and projecting it on a monitor. Okay, just as a test of its capabilities, let's add a small teddy bear.

Here is the result:

Search and you'll find lots of these programs. is another one. I also liked experimenting with I went down a similar path asking variations on a woman standing by a wall, sitting by a lake, etc. 

I'll keep posting things I create on this site and I will be using them for a lot of my posts online.

I would like to see more control over these simple tools - such as being able to start with a photo of my own - and they are not perfect in following prompts. Did you notice that in the image at the top, Bing misspelled Bing?

4 variations on a monochrome man walking in the woods prompt

Can Bloom's Taxonomy Teach Us Anything About AI?

spiral model


When I was studying to be a secondary school teacher, Bloom’s Taxonomy often came up in my classes as a way to do lesson planning and a way to assess learners. Recently, there have been several revisions to its pyramid stack. An article on suggests a spiral might be better, particularly if you want to use it as a lens to view AI.

The author, Vriti Saraf, opines that the most important potential of AI isn’t to enhance human productivity, it’s to enhance and support human thinking, and that looking at AI’s capabilities through the lens of Bloom’s Taxonomy showcases the possible interplay of humans and machines.

It is an interesting idea. Take a look.