Mei: An AI-Powered Messaging App
Thu, October 21, 2021

Mei: An AI-Powered Messaging App

Nowadays, people exchange billions of messages everyday, whether it’s for their friends, parents, or anyone in the world. It’s important for us to stay connected to others and be updated on recent events and news / Photo by: Andrii YURLOV via 123RF

 

Nowadays, people exchange billions of messages everyday, whether it’s for their friends, parents, or anyone in the world. It’s important for us to stay connected to others and be updated on recent events and news. With messaging apps, users can connect with anyone anywhere without hassle. 

eMarketer, an online source for data and research on digital for business, predicted that the number of mobile messaging app users across the world would increase to 90.1% by 2023. This is higher than the projected users in 2021 (89.1%) and 2022 (89.75). 

99firms.com, an online site that is dedicated to making the process of finding the right online marketing agency for your business as simple as possible, reported that messaging apps surpassed social media as the place most people get their news in 2018. The 2018 Digital News Report stated that one of the most used messaging apps for news is WhatsApp. It is being used by online users in Malaysia (54%) and Brazil (48%) and by around a third in Spain (36%) and Turkey (30%).

Messaging apps used to just be for typing words or sentences on your screen. This has changed with artificial intelligence. Messaging apps have become easier and more engaging to use because of chatbots. AI chatbots have a lot of functions and abilities. They can learn quickly, answer queries of several users at a time, and make conversation more engaging. According to Onpassive, a digital marketing company with an automated platform for business promotion through modern marketing technology, automated responses from chatbots can text people to call back after a few minutes while driving, getting business reponses automated, and more. 

A Gartner report showed that the use of messaging apps and chatbots will steadily increase over the next few years. It reported that at least 25% of digital employees across the world will use virtual assistants and bots for communication. As AI continues to grow, a revolutionary shift in the perception of intelligent interactions within mobile apps is highly anticipated. Users can also expect more and more messaging apps in the coming years. 

Introducing Mei

One of the most popular AI messaging apps is Mei. Mei is considered the world’s first mobile messaging app that includes an AI assistant designed to improve people’s relationships. This messaging app replaces the basic SMS/text messaging app that a user currently has on their phone. Mei gives you the option of using an AI assistant to better understand the people you text and help improve your relationships with them. 

The great thing about this messaging app is that it doesn’t know the user. It doesn’t ask for the user’s name or personal information. Aside from that, Mei doesn’t need to know who you are to understand and help you. Android users would gain several features like end-to-end encrypted RCS (Rich Communication Services) with other Mei users if they switch to Mei. Meanwhile, Mei’s AI can also benefit iPhone users because it can analyze any of the user’s exported WhatsApp conversations to give them personalized advice and insights it learned from analyzing millions of conversations.

According to Internet of Business, an online site that covers how technologies are transforming connected business, Mei can warn the users when something is not right with their app. Using predictive analysis, it can recognize a range of messaging patterns, from response times to emotional content. 

“Let’s say a user is chatting with a friend who seemed very carefree over the last years’ worth of text conversations. If suddenly this contact seems more negative and takes longer to respond, we can let the user know something’s different and encourage them to check in on their friend. You can think of this as a ‘guardian angel’ feature that alerts users of changes they might easily miss,” the developers explained.

A Built-In AI

Mei boasts its built-in "relationship AI", which is meant to analyze a user’s relationships with others through the lens of their SMS messages with them. It not only analyzes your messages but also analyzes how close and compatible you and your friends are. It can even analyze you and your friends’ personalities, which can give you a better picture of who you really are and what your friends are like. 

According to VentureBeat, an American technology website that aims to help business leaders make smarter decisions with our industry-leading AI and gaming coverage, Mei was developed from the data provided by two universities, “millions” of messages sourced from the app’s more than 100,000 users, and the dev team’s own exchanges. Founder Es Lee, a Harvard graduate with a degree in computer science, claimed that it’s one of the largest datasets of its kind. 

“One of the difficulties of maintaining relationships through text is that it’s [possible] to come across as crass or rude — even when that was never the intention. Emotion is lost in text messages. It’s a different form of body language that people aren’t quite attuned to detecting yet,” Lee said. 

Mei builds a psychological profile of your texting partners using natural language processing and sophisticated algorithms. These technologies take into account response time, terseness, word choice, and other factors. According to Lee, Mei can determine the gender and age of a person just by analyzing the emoji they use. 

Aside from that, the messaging app can calculate the compatibility of users texting each other. It considers five key traits, including openness, emotional control, extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. It also highlights the top characteristics they share in common, like “proudness” and “seriousness."

“Our idea is to use aggregated data to improve relationships with people. Other than face-to-face conversations, few forms of communication are more important than texting,” Lee added. 

Mei boasts its built-in "relationship AI", which is meant to analyze a user’s relationships with others through the lens of their SMS messages with them. It not only analyzes your messages but also analyzes how close and compatible you and your friends are / Photo by: maridav via 123RF