The Artificial intelligence is now really a hot subject because not only big giants like Google and Apple working on it, to make our life easier and better but other players in the market too; those continuously innovating something new in the field of AI. The Mei is one of such companies, we recently got a request from them to install and use their Mei machine learning app in order to understand and how it going to help in improving our relationships. However, this Mei app is still in Beta stage, so we can’t compare it with anyone else but we will discuss its features and our experience with it, here in the article.
What is Mei App?
The Mei app is developed by the textmei.com and combines three things– their own developed algorithm, machine learning, and big data. On the basis of these three things the Mei app track our behavior and helps us to understand our selves and how we communicate with others. As per the developer once the people start learning how they behave; the chances of getting better in any relationship will increase.
The best thing about the app is that it not going to ask you multiple questions to know about your personality like other apps.
From setting up the user profile to score the behavior all are set by analyzing the text messages present already on your phone.
Once the analyzation is completed, the Mei app will divide your personality across five primary dimensions:
This type of profiling, known as Big 5 and each above-mentioned dimensions are consists of 6 traits such as outgoing vs. reserved, trusting vs. skeptical, traditional vs. liberal.
Mei will show you where you score in all 30 traits (5 dimensions x 6 traits each) compared to over 10,000 people. The more messages you have the more reliable the analysis is. Right now the app is only available for Android users.
The company also declared that despite being collecting text messages and call data, the privacy of the user is the first priority for them.
The interface of the Mei App is really very intuitive and looks like some kind of software form some science fiction movie. After installing the app, it will ask for your permission to access your phone and messages in order to analyze them. Once it has done, the app will show your behavior result across different dimensions. For reference, see the screenshots.
The results, it provided to me for my behavior; all of them were not totally accurate but few of them I think are exactly how I am. Also, might be other traits of mine are true as well. But I am not going to accept them easily, because of human nature to refrain to accept the shortcomings; especially when an app on your smartphone predict them. Overall, the app is really good and the accuracy of it depends on how much data is available for it to analyze. If you are just using it on a newly installed phone where you don’t have enough text messages and calls then don’t expect high accuracy from the Mei.
In an email interaction with the Mei developers, we had asked some questions about the technology used in the Mei and how it useful for peoples. Have a look…
What type technology or things make Mei different from similar apps?
We’re unique because we use AI, instead of just input from a user, to create our personality profiles. There are hundreds of apps out there that will try to understand personality, but they typically require a lot of personal information from the user or ask a bunch of survey questions. Our app is able to generate profiles without either. Instead, it relies on algorithms to analyze the text messages already on the phone.
What has inspired the founder to create Mei, when already some big players are in the market in the same vertical?
The way we communicate and interact with one another has changed drastically the past few years. We’ve quickly shifted away from calling each other and god forbid we show up at someone’s doorstep unexpectedly. Instead, we rely on texting for just about everything. But this often leads to miscommunication and misinterpretation, which can be damaging to relationships. Our goal is to use AI to help reduce this and mitigate the damage.
We believe better communication starts with better understanding ourselves and others. As a first step, our team created a tool for people to see their own personalities, or at least how they come across to others. Our app also allows users to analyze the people they text with, so users can start getting insights on how their contacts may be similar or different personality-wise. We think the better we can understand the people we chat with, the more effective we can be at relating and communicating.
What are the different trends you are seeing in 2018?
We’re seeing more and more companies, not only the big ones like Google, Facebook and Apple are investing more money in AI and machine learning. And many messaging apps are focusing on adding more useful AI capabilities. However, AI and algorithms need to better understand the user before they can be useful. That’s why we’re working on a tool to first better understand our users.
We think there’s also a (necessary) trend where data and AI is used for the benefit of the user, as opposed to simply better target the user for advertising.
Can we get a bit of information about, how the Mei AI works?
Text messages contain a lot of information that can provide insights on personality. We rely on algorithms that have been trained on thousands of people to pick out features that are associated with certain personality traits. For example, if someone texts about “partying” much more frequently than others, we could reasonably infer they are more extroverted.
Using these algorithms and models, we generate a full “Big 5” personality profiles, which contain 30 different personality dimensions.
We also incorporated into the algorithms what we learned from two years of research into people’s texting habits and styles. We’ve taken feedback from a range of social science researchers to better understand the data and develop more accurate algorithms.
All that said, the app can be wrong in its guesses on personality. That’s why we allow for feedback from users to improve the algorithms.
People complain about AI and invasions of privacy. What is Mei’s response?
People should have a right to privacy.
Due to the nature of the data we collect, we prioritize both giving users choice over their data and being transparent about what we are doing. Before being able to use the app, we tell users that our app collects the text messages in order to run our analysis. And we save the data and any feedback a user gives because that information will affect our analysis for a future user.
We know there’s often a balance in people’s minds between giving up personal information and gaining a service and/or knowledge. Over time, we believe people will become more comfortable with sharing their personal information if companies respect their privacy concerns.