NBCU Using New Canvs AI Technology in Pilot Testing

Emotional response research company Canvs says it is using artificial intelligence to process the answers to open-ended questions in traditional questionnaires, speeding the analysis of those responses.

Canvs says that among the first companies to employ the new technology is NBCUniversal, which used Canvs in its pilot testing before picking shows for its fall schedule.

Canvs says it offering a free version of its service, letting any researcher use Canvs Surveys to analyze up to 5,000 responses.

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Jared Feldman, CEO of Canvs, says the company has been using AI to analyze viewers' emotional responses to TV shows in social media, but that research had to be done after a program aired.

Now its technology can be used before a show airs, enabling it to be utilized in a more lucrative and influential part of the market.

“Having just wrapped up our first pilot testing using Canvs Surveys, I can say with confidence this isn’t an iterative improvement for the research community, it’s a first-ever,” says Benoit Landry, senior director of program research at NBCUniversal. “We went from spending 16 hours trying to hand-sort open-ended survey responses, down to one hour with Canvs, and that’s in addition to never-before-seen normative insights across pilots. It’s an extraordinary efficiency gain and cost savings for NBC for something we do dozens of times each year.”

Research companies have been able to automate questions that call for a multilple choice or “1 to 5” response. But open ended comments have had to be hand-processed in spreadsheets.

With its artificial intelligence technology Canvs was able to process responses from pilot testing in past years to establish benchmarks for a new crop of comedies and dramas.

Feldman says that its free offer has already been taken up by a number of other networks and has led to new clients signing up for the service.

Canvs also announced Friday (June 8) the addition of Kristin Luck to its board of advisers. Luck is a co-founder of Online Testing Exchange.

“Recent forecasts predict worldwide revenue from emotion analysis software will increase from $123 million in 2017 to $3.8 billion by 2025,” says Feldman. “Kristin offers a unique vantage point into how our core language-emotion AI can be leveraged across industries beyond media--anywhere research and open-ended surveys are conducted. The sky is the limit.”