Element Data, Inc., a Bellevue, Wash. artificial-intelligence and machine-learning software developer that says it is developing “the world’s first cognitive decision engine” to predict what computer users will do based on their past activity, says it has purchased the “assets and patent” of BehaviorMatrix LLC, a Blue Bell firm that focused on “understanding human emotion and behavioral cues from digital communication,” for an undisclosed sum in stock and cash.
Element’s goal is “understanding human emotion from (human reactions to) the written word online, to help individuals and organizations make better decisions,” chief operating officer Cyrus Krohn told me. “Our Decision Insight Computational Engine — DICE — helps establish confidence in decision-making.” He said BehaviorMatrix’s patented system “can extract an individual’s emotional state through online conversation. This technology will be integrated into our product suite.”
BehaviorMatrix staff won’t be joining Element’s staff (including Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo veterans) in Seattle. Several of BehaviorMatrix’s veteran employees have left in recent years. Cofounder Howard Reid is now chief investment officer at Philadelphia-based GoBabl, which helps firms raise investment funding. BehaviorMatrix leaders also included veteran Philadelphia-area tech entrepreneurs William and John Thompson.
Element lead investor Archibald Cox Jr. was among other investors, including former Amazon executive Steve Lawler, in Element’s $1.7 million financing last year. Element says it has raised over $5 million from Cox and others in two funding rounds.
“Decision making frequently includes an emotional component. Humans make irrational decisions due to extenuating circumstances. Acquiring BehaviorMatrix’s technology and key patent will allow us to better understand the emotional drivers impacting the decision-making process,” Charles Davis, Element Data chief technology officer, said in a statement.