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How West Point is using an AI system to aid in its negotiation tactics

Machines may not be known for their EQ (emotional quotient), but a new collaboration between Cogito Corp. and the U.S. Military Academy is on track to change our perceptions. The art of negotiation, which may have once been a distinctly human skill set, is being enhanced by Cogito, a company that specializes in real-time emotional intelligence solutions. Cadets at West Point will use this technology to improve their own tactics when it comes to striking a bargain and gaining crucial information.

“We believe that the ability to effectively negotiate is a critical skill that will serve military personnel well in numerous situations over the course of their careers,” said Col. James Ness, Ph.D. Director: Engineering Psychology Program, West Point. “Cogito’s behavioral analytics technology will systematically analyze communication patterns within negotiating sessions and provide insight into the cadet’s psychological state. This technology will provide an unbiased assessment of how each cadet is being perceived by the other party. It will deliver insights into how they can modify their behavior to improve negotiation outcomes.”

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Created in collaboration DARPA, the Defense Advance Research Project Agency, Cogito’s software is years in the making and has been tested in a series of commercial deployments as well as clinical research partnerships. By analyzing voice conversations, Cogito claims to be able to provide real-time insight into a person’s speaking behavior and psychological state. Moreover, the company says that it’s able to use AI systems and machine learning to apply behavioral science to various situations, enabling its users to communicate with more empathy and establish more meaningful connections.

“Helping cadets advance their negotiation skills is a wonderful use of Cogito’s technology. The novel insights the software delivers will provide real-time intelligence into how they are being perceived and how they can modify their behavior to reach more successful agreements,” said Josh Feast, CEO and Co-Founder of Cogito. “The technology has proven to deliver similar benefits to phone based sales representatives, care management professionals and customer service agents.”