The first education App that responds dynamically to the emotional reactions of the child starts crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo today.

Hongkong September 26 2016

Little Dragon is the first tutoring app that follows and responds to the student’s ever changing emotional state to optimise learning. Using an emotional AI Little Dragon will detect states like boredom and frustration then adjusts content to help maintain interest and flow. Little Dragon also integrates behavioural and emotional aspects of learning to provide a tutor who ‘sees’ and is personalised to each learner. No other app on the market uses this approach.

What’s innovative about Little Dragon?

Little Dragon is offers a unique learning platform that observes the emotional state of the child and adjusts the content accordingly. It detects facial expressions, movements and interaction patterns associated with good progress in order to repeat the strategy in the future. The key technological partner in this project is Affectiva, an MIT Media Lab spinoff that created a SDK with a very extensive database of faces, essential for the facial recognition at the core of Little Dragon’s inferences. Our key advance is the integration of emotional attunement into a learning system that is both personalised and universal.  

Little Dragon supports the learner through increasingly challenging tasks, and this is possible because with our technology we get to know that particular child and how he feels each step of the way. This process is even more important for children with special educational needs, such as dyslexia, speech disorders, autism, and ADHD.   

A dedicated mentor like Little Dragon makes schooling more enjoyable and is designed to be a cute and fun friend who fosters confidence. In addition to the application we have created a highly innovate case for the iPad – My Little Dragon – which huggably embodies your child’s learning companion, becomes a backpack, and helps maintain ergonomically healthy posture.

At what stage of development is Little Dragon now?

Since the project began in late-2015 the Little Dragon prototype has been created, tested and further developed close to market readiness. In January, Little Dragon was tested at two schools in rural China, to generate a first idea of the ergonomics, and the data quality. After analysing the data a team of programmers and game developers carved out the core engine that integrates face analysis powered by Affectiva, a basic form of reinforcement learning and a set of simple games. The prototype mostly serves as a testbed to observe interaction and collect data necessary to refine the learning algorithm. If you are interested to try out our prototype, please submit for a TestFlight access.

Why a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo?

Little Dragon has attracted the interest of a wide range of people and organisations working in education. We think a crowdfunding campaign is a great way to share our ideas and creation more widely, start exciting conversations, and hopefully get backing from others keen to get an early experience of AIEd x Emotional Learning.

Crowdfunding is also a way for us to steer development to understand the needs of our future users. “The support of our backers is essential for the development to ‘float’ the intelligent interaction and emotional understanding of Little Dragon.” says Fabrizio Beverina, Artha CTO.   

In the context of our campaign we’re planning a pilot of Little Dragon with schools serving refugee children under UNHCR (The UN Refugee Agency), developing emotional understanding content with researchers and practitioners in the field, and cooperating with school leaders in underprivileged communities.

Who’s behind Little Dragon?

The three founders are an Italian electrical engineer who in 2007 created a “Furby” with a third emotional eye that won two European funds for innovation, a Englishman with a PhD in developmental psychology and years in the field of education, and a German IT project manager entrepreneur with adventurous spirits whose paths crossed in a hippie mecca of southwestern China.  They founded Artha Ltd in Hong Kong in 2015 for the express purpose of developing systems that harness emotional learning and artificial intelligence.  Since then they have attracted a team of designers, developers, experts in child development and marketing.

contact for more information:

Martin Raasch, Artha Co-Founder and CEO

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