Neil Fogarty: We Are a Deep Technology Enterprise Specialising In Psycholinguistic Artificial Intelligence

August 26, 2022

We are a deep technology enterprise specialising in psycholinguistic artificial intelligence.

Our values are built on democratic principles – everyone has an equal voice; everyone deserves equal access; our environment is non-judgemental, non-prejudicial, non-directive.

Our mission is to create the de fact psycholinguistic data layer for all human-computer technologies around the world.

Tell us about yourself?

Former business director in a Plc with over 30 years’ experience in business development and growth.

Author, speaker, advisor and consultant in entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, and leadership.

Have been involved in 5 startups including forming my first SaaS company in 1997. Experience of scale-up, intervention, turnaround, merger, acquisition and divestment.

Have sold and delivered on four continents, increasingly involved in applied business psychology and communications.

After a decade of R&D, Human was incorporated in 2019 to disrupt flawed technology approaches to psychology, psychotherapy, and conversations.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Even though it’s less than the mandatory characters for this answer, simply, “build the advisory board quicker”.

What problem does your business solve?

Too many technologists are involved in driving the development of artificial intelligence technologies. When it comes to psychometrics, mental health interventions, or conversations… technologists (and tech companies) use their pet technology to digitise something that was flawed in the first place.

The rush to ‘go to market’ means that the emphasis is on ill-defined product-market fit; focus on a quick first sale and then a pivot; jump on the VC merry-go-round.

In doing this, the question, “what is the value to the human?” goes unanswered.

So when we look at psychological health in organisations, the cost of non-productivity due to poor psychological health equates to £2,000-3,500 per employee per year.

In effect, an organisation with 200 employees (and let’s not forget sub-contractors) would see an impact of £700,000 a year – and this figure is rising.

Globally, this is a $2tn problem.

Our first technology solution to market goes beyond mental health intervention and is focused on psychological health through employee assistance, experience, and engagement (including individual and collective psychology development, unlimited mental health assessment and support).

What is the inspiration behind your business?

There are many inspirations as to why something gets done. It’s hardly ever ‘one problem, one solution’.

However, what we saw 5 years’ ago and what was evidenced due to the pandemic is that employees are seriously short-changed by employee assistance programmes and wellbeing programmes. The interventions don’t work for the individual but the suppliers get paid, and the employers tick a box.

So the inspiration of giving employees meaningful and sustainable support is:

The current $1bn psychometric industry is reductionist, non-contextual, and cumbersome.

Mental health interventions such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness are merely symptomatic relief (2% of human psychology) but won’t / can’t proactively help the individual to resolve issues with anxiety, stress, depression, addiction, loneliness, self-harm, or suicide.

Finally, who would confide in a Q&A-style chat bot with its scripted, decision tree approach and an inability to put conversations into context?

What is your magic sauce?

Our work is built around the power of human conversation.

Our technology is built on a series of World Firsts:

  • contextual AI Psychologist
  • true AI Psychotherapist
  • generative conversation agent using short- mid- and long-term context
  • dedicated psycholinguistic data layer to capture all social interactions
  • psychospatial cognition to create deeper understanding, develop richer conversations

In terms of the competition, all it takes is 1-2 minutes of you talking to our technology through voice or text:

  • we can determine your psychology, in context, within less than 200 words of conversation. No question sets, no time set aside, no clunky reports.
  • we can proactively identify your mental state and introduce person-centred conversations based on recognised therapy models
  • have a genuine discussion where the technology is there to listen and ask questions rather than follow scripts, telling you what to do
  • engage with a technology that listen and remembers – and can ‘join the dots’ in your conversations

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

We are building the psycholinguistic data layer – we envisage our technology supporting all conversation agents, driving enriched conversations that give insights into emotions (far beyond mere sentiment analysis), relationships, wants, needs, motivations and more.

Before Year 5, we will have fully developed a key aspect of the spatial layer of the Metaverse.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

As a deep tech start-up, the biggest challenge to date is really around the issue of the scale of our ambition as it freaks people out!

We find that software developers push their chosen technology without thinking about the context. We always ask the question, ‘are our technologies helping the human user?’ Too many developers approach projects from a mechanistic perspective rather than a human one.

I guess, if we had a huge pot of cash, we’d develop quicker but I think that, in doing so, we wouldn’t have built such a strong IP portfolio as we have gone down rabbit holes and discover new psycholinguistic theories and approaches.

These new insights into technologies as well as our internal discussions around psycholinguistic theories means that our technology has evolved from a Slack-based therapist and an organisational psychologist into the Virtual Colleague.

Our R&D in human-like memory has evolved into not just supporting live conversations but also forecasting and simulating future user behaviour which links into more metaverse opportunities.

Every challenge is an opportunity for growth and our entrepreneurial psychology mean that we are also creating new human-oriented technologies.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

We are now at the point of our first application coming to market – a Virtual Colleague based on integrated psychology development and psychotherapy.

We want organisations who would like to run a 10-week pilot with an outcome of them being able to see analytics & insights covering over a dozen different psychology aspects ranging from motivation to opinions to mental health.

In the first instance, as this is a solution to the psychological health of individuals and the organisation as a whole, you should arrange to talk with a human – [email protected]

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