Riga and Manchester-based startup Asya is developing a new mindful conversation app based on AI that seeks to help with the drop in attention span and communication skills of people in the modern smartphone era. Asya’s app listens to a user’s voice in conversations with others, and provides real-time feedback on the conversation’s quality – in an ethical way that protects the privacy of all participants.
The startup has announced the closing of a €120k pre-seed funding round led by Change Ventures along with the BuildIT Latvia accelerator, which will fund the launch of the Aysa app this summer.
“Mindful communication is about being aware of the choices we are making and of our thinking and reasoning,” said co-founder Ariels Tabaks. “The world of smartphones has distanced us from our fellow human beings and this concerned us, so we set out to fix it. My cofounder Evald’s years of AI research led to the development of some ground-breaking models to analyse a conversation’s tempo, emotions and balance in real time and this app is our attempt to hand people a tool with which they can become better conversationalists.”
The Asya app records the pattern of conversation (without retaining the actual words, thereby protecting privacy) and reports to the user statistics on whether the user is listening for an appropriate proportion of the conversation, whether they pause enough to make messages sink in, and soon will also provide insights on the emotional impact of their conversation.
The real-time conversation feedback is communicated in a beautiful visual form via a flower that blooms based on the analytics. These statistics can be viewed over time in the app and used to enable long-term improvements in conversational habits.
You can sign-up to join the waiting list for Asya app on its website. The app is invitation based, and the first users to sign-up will have a chance to try it out sooner.