Harnessing the Power of AI for Children's Mental Health: A Conversation with Paulo Pirjanian

Paolo Pirjanian, the founder and CEO of Embodied, Inc., speaks with Jay Ackerman about how their innovative social robot, Moxie, is making a positive impact on children's mental and behavioral health. This interview provides a fascinating look at how AI technology is evolving and how it's being utilized to enhance human lives.

Watch full interview here:

Key Takeaways and Talking Points 

  • Robotics and AI in Healthcare (05:00)

    Pirjanian emphasizes the transformative potential of AI and robotics in the healthcare landscape. The current shortage of care providers and rising issues like loneliness among the elderly underscore the need for AI-based solutions, like Embodied's Moxie. 

  • The Power of Generative AI (08:00)

    Generative AI has changed the game for robotics, enabling more natural, human-like conversations with the robot. Moxie can comprehend context through the combination of modalities – text, audio, and video – hence understanding non-verbal communication cues that hold 93% of the conversation information. 

  • Security and Emotional Safety (12:00)

    Security, privacy, and emotional safety are paramount. Moxie has built-in guardrails to prevent potential harm, detect and respond to emotional distress, and respect family and cultural values. 

  • Measuring Success (15:00) 

    While initial sales are direct-to-consumer, Pirjanian reveals ambitions of taking Moxie to institutions and health plans in the long term. Success is measured by the product's ability to impact children positively, improve social skills, emotional regulation, and coping abilities. 

  • AI as a Supplement to Traditional Caregiving (18:00)

    Contrary to initial concerns, Pirjanian reveals that the healthcare sector has welcomed AI-powered robots like Moxie as a valuable supplement to traditional caregiving, not a replacement.

  • Expanding Moxie's Applications (19:00)

    Through partnerships with organizations like the University of Rochester Medical Center Pediatric Care, Embodied has discovered numerous potential applications for Moxie, including patient intake and providing emotional support during medical procedures. 

  • R&D and the Exponential Growth of AI (21:00)

    Emphasizing the necessity for continuous innovation in a field that's advancing rapidly, Pirjanian shares that Embodied's language model has grown from 1 billion parameters in 2021 to nearly a trillion in 2023. 

  • Generative AI and Hyper-Individualization (23:00) 

    Generative AI allows for the creation of a wealth of content and enables hyper-individualization of user experience. For instance, Moxie can use specific information shared by parents to provide unique emotional support to a child going through a specific experience, such as a family divorce. 

  • Widespread AI Adoption (25:00)

    The key to widespread AI adoption, according to Pirjanian, lies in creating natural human-machine interfaces, which is the driving principle behind Moxie's design.

  • Entrepreneurship and Mental Health (29:00) 

    In the concluding segment, Pirjanian opens up about the mental health challenges associated with entrepreneurship and shares his personal coping strategies. 


AI technology, as represented by Embodied's Moxie, has transformative potential for children's mental health. The continuous innovation, adaptability, and human-centric approach of companies like Embodied are paving the way for the next generation of healthcare solutions. 

About The Author

Reveleer is a healthcare-focused, technology-driven workflow, data, and analytics company that uses natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence (AI) to empower health plans and risk-bearing providers with control over their Quality Improvement, Risk Adjustment, and Member Management programs. With one transformative solution, the Reveleer platform allows plans to independently execute and manage every aspect of enrollment, provider outreach, data retrieval, coding, abstraction, reporting, and submissions. Leveraging proprietary technology, robust data sets, and subject matter expertise, Reveleer provides complete record retrieval and review services, so health plans can confidently plan and execute programs that deliver more value and improved outcomes. To learn more about Reveleer, please visit Reveleer.com.