Human Perception AI Company Affectiva Raises $26 Million

By Amit Chowdhry ● April 16, 2019

TED Talk by Rana el Kaliouby / Photo Credit: Affectiva

Affectiva, a Boston-based human perception artificial intelligence (AI) and MIT Media Lab spin-off company, announced it raised $26 million in funding. This round of funding was led by Aptiv PLC. Trend Forward Capital, Motley Fool Ventures and CAC also participated in this round. Including this round, Affectiva has raised $53 million.

With this round funding, Affectiva is going to evolve, accelerate, and scale its perceptive technology in the automotive industry and areas like conversational interfaces, social robotics, and market research.

Affectiva is known for creating and defining the category of Emotion AI. By using deep learning, computer vision, speech science, and massive amounts of real-world data, Affectiva’s AI is pioneering Human Perception AI — which is software that can understand all things human. For example, Human Perception AI can detect nuanced emotions and complex cognitive states, activities, interactions, and objects that people use.


“Since day one, we’ve been on a mission to humanize technology,” said Affectiva CEO and co-founder Rana el Kaliouby in a statement. “We’re seeing significant demand from the automotive industry in particular, as OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers concentrate on creating safer, more comfortable experiences for drivers and passengers. As our technology has evolved to detect more than just emotions, the automotive industry will be able to build intelligent vehicles that can better adapt and relate to the needs of people inside of them.”

Affectiva is going to use this funding round to fuel the deployment of its Human Perception AI in production vehicles. Affectiva’s Automotive AI solution is already being used by leading OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, ridesharing providers, fleet management companies, and developers of autonomous vehicles in order to understand the states and moods of drivers.

“We are working closely with Affectiva to commercialize advanced sensing solutions that enhance perception systems inside the vehicle,” added Aptiv SVP and president of Advanced Safety & User Experience David Paja. “Aptiv has a rich history of bringing leading vehicle safety solutions to market, and together with Affectiva, we are using a powerful combination of Human Perception AI and predictive analytics, running on Aptiv’s high-speed computing platforms, to dramatically improve safety, attention management, and the overall ride experience.”