In a report released by the Content Marketing Institute, 91% of B2B businesses and 86% of B2C businesses use content marketing as a method to connect with their customers and generate revenue. However, while content has been a vital part of any digital marketing over the past 15 years, it is no longer possible to get away with creating a 500-word article, stuffy white paper, or bulky report to generate leads and increase brand reputation.

In an interview with L’atelier BNP Paribas, Professor Yuval Harari author of ‘Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind’ states that human beings, giraffes, viruses are all algorithms. They differ from computers only in the sense that they’re biochemical algorithms, which have evolved at the whim of natural selection over millions of years. In his book Homo Deus, Harari argues that our emotions and feelings are organic algorithms responding to our environment. Is it not possible to then argue that computers may one day have the ability to process these algorithms at lightning speed, reading our emotions so effectively they know precisely what we’re feeling?

Authenticity, value and emotional impact are the words on every (good) marketers lips. We surf the internet with an expectation that our service providers will know us well enough to suggest the next must-have product to keep us hooked. Recommended products on Ebay, the Netflix watch queue, your very own Facebook echo chamber; each platform is tailoring its offering to you, so you come back for more.

Shockingly, only 15% of companies are considered leaders in this area of marketing, with their efforts producing a mere 10% lift in revenues after personalisation is implemented (BCG). Consumers now expect that businesses treat them with exclusivity and therefore a banner which follows you from Youtube to Google search to Facebook attempting to re-target just won’t do. The customer requires a business to know their desires and provide what they want, when they want it, throwing in a touching brand story here and there.

We caught up with CEO of Realeyes, Mihkel Jäätma to discuss how machine learning and emotion in artificial intelligence is the missing instrument in every marketer’s toolbox.

What does your technology allow marketers to achieve and how?

Using webcams and the latest in computer vision and machine learning technologies, Realeyes measures how people feel as they watch video content online, enabling brands, agencies and media companies to optimise their content and help target their videos at the right audiences.

Emotions are a key part in marketing, and by training computers to read people’s reactions while they watch their content means they can speed up and scale their testing and reach as many audiences as possible.

What challenges have you faced building a business which centres on reading people’s emotions?

Again, I think with any new technology there is always some scepticism. So the challenge is helping to explain the benefits of this technology.

AI is all about giving computers the ability to think for themselves, recognise patterns and link those to actions at speed. What Realeyes is trying to do is help computers understand the impact their decisions can have. Give depth to their understanding.

We spend most of our lives surrounded by tech. Through our phones, our laptops, TVs and now fridges, watches and speakers, and we trust them to make our lives more productive, safer, healthier, easier. So, doesn’t it make sense that we at least help them understand us better?

Humans are complicated. We need our tech to be more emotionally intelligent, more empathetic…more human.

Considering that consumers require a more personalised experience, where do you see the emotion analytics industry going in the next 5 years?

This technology is expanding rapidly and won’t just be used in sectors such as marketing and retail.

We’re also going to be seeing the tech used in such areas as healthcare and HR, ensuring that tech becomes a bigger and bigger factor in our lives. As our use of tech grows to encompass all facets of our lives, we think it’s important that the tech we use has emotional intelligence; and that it understands how we feel.

There are a lot of benefits to this. Computers are logical; what we are trying to do is make them understand exactly how we are feeling.

Ninety percent of the decisions we make every single day are based on our emotions. Computers need to understand how we feel. Humans are complicated - we don’t just want the computer to say ‘no’.

For example, this kind of tech is already being used to treat people with autism, spot the signs of depression.

What is your ambition for Realeyes? What is your overall goal?

While we are focused on expanding our video advertising capabilities, our long-term strategy is to build a strong independent tech company that pioneers the use of affective computing across a number of different industries.

With webcams now outnumbering human eyes and computers becoming ever better at reading human emotions - the boundless opportunities to build and develop smarter software solutions has never been greater.

We want to revolutionise the way people interact with technology every single day. AI is going to play a key part in our lives, and we want to help shape its future.

AI needs emotional intelligence to facilitate human-machine interaction. By giving our personal devices the ability to detect our emotions, we will have more personalised experiences.

Read more about Realeyes and its most recent raise.