Music’s hidden potential to unlock value for business executives

Read Time:5 Minute

I’m a musician and serial entrepreneur, was trained as classical pianist, and studied for a master’s in music and philosophy. As a business executive, I have over 20 years of experience, leading several innovations from inception and product strategy to development and product management, to commercialization in global markets. My track record includes closing successful deals with global vendors, mobile operators, and content companies, as well as winning global awards and prizes.

Across the past five years, Amit Sternberg has been driving innovation around music, health and technology. Sternberg’s newest company, Rubato, is currently in its seed stage. This fast-growing firm has impressed investors and is poised to take off in the next 12 months. Will Rubato transform wearable tech culture, music streaming and management coaching so that all three combine to close an urgent value gap? Read this exclusive CyberTalk.org interview with Amit Sternberg to learn more.

What is Rubato and what is the company’s mission?

Rubato is an innovative technology that matches music to the listener’s physiological and psychological state. We are using algorithms and machine-learning data, based on biometrics, musical attributes, and clinical outcomes, to develop customized music playlists that measurably increase calmness and reduce stress.

Music affects each person in a different way. The right sounds have the potential to change minds and to improve health for the better, powering overall improvements and productivity in our professional and personal lives. But up until this point, no one has taken the initiative to do something with this information. So this is where Rubato steps in.

How did the idea for Rubato arise?

I’ve been a serial entrepreneur and innovator in the Israeli high-tech scene for 20 years and following the trends around AI and wearables made me eventually come to the conclusion that, again, the time has come for us to be able to track the changes induced by music; how it does or doesn’t trigger us. From there, the journey to applying AI and recommending music was quite short.

How can this type of innovation translate to better productivity outcomes?

We know that music was used by our ancestors much before language and has been an important part of humankind’s evolutionary journey.  Recent neuroscience research has proved that music plays a significant role in helping people improve their concentration. The right music can easily reduce the number of ‘wandering thoughts’ that people tend to have. If you experience ‘mind-wandering’ while working, it’s easy for music to bring you back to a point where you’re focused again.

While each person relates to music in a different way, -some people relax to the lyrics, some people relax to an old tune- it stops the process of ‘wandering thoughts’ almost instantly. This has been validated with ADHD patients, where certain types of music help them to sit down and concentrate quickly.

But there’s a big difference between the subjective choices that people make in relation to music and the objective realities around what is helpful and restorative for the body and the brain…People are often confused about what they think works for them in regard to stress reduction and what objectively and clinically would trigger the right effect.

 After Rubato builds a profile and transforms data into a playlist, how can someone see their own results?

As part of our application, we have developed a unique visualization method, which easily shows how music effects one’s heart rate and stress levels, both for a single track or for a whole playlist. Our AI powered playlists are generated on Spotify, per an individual’s desired goal, and the individual can go ahead and listen to the playlists on the spot.

If you collect biometric and AI/ML data, how is that information stored and secured?

We are GDPR ready. We are working toward HIPAA compliance as well, obviously. We get user consent for everything that we collect. And as a digital therapeutics company that aims to eventually get FDA clearance, the code is being developed in such a way as to comply with FDA requirements and regulations. Those are the basics.

How do you hope to evolve the company in the next 6 months, year and 5 years?

Right now, we are focused on two commercial verticals that have huge economic impact.

One involves working with dementia patients suffering from agitation attacks, where music is known to have a strong effect. Caregivers and senior communities dedicated to caring for this population have a very limited set of effective interventions outside of the common medication interventions, which only mask behaviors rather than addressing or redirecting them for more positive results. Additionally, families don’t have effective and easily implementable tools to access, placate, and connect with their loved one, either at home or in a community in an individualized way. By providing a remotely accessed, customizable dashboard, Rubato further allows caregivers and loved ones to significantly improve interpersonal connection while amplifying positive responses and interaction.

The other vertical, which closely aligns with the CyberTalk audience’s interests and needs, involves working with organizations and corporate groups on programs for coaching senior management. Senior management is being trained and coached by practitioners and professional coaches in 1:1 sessions, and our technology is an important tool for them to learn how to manage stress and anxiety while keeping engaged. This is a very strong, effective, productive, and metrics-driven means of managing stress and enhancing productivity, and our platform has a lot of value to add here.

Music is probably one of the most engaging tools – it requires no specific time, nor any specific technique. You don’t need to allocate the time. You just keep listening to the right playlist. And once you can track the results, it’s very easy to work with that information, especially if you have a coach or mentor to work with you, guide you through the process and set the right goals for you. We believe that there’s great potential, particularly market potential, in stress reduction for business leaders.

Music is strongly correlated with stress levels, and one of Rubato’s goals is to leverage AI in order to decrease stress, empower people to achieve more, and to increase overall quality of life.

Are you interested in the business potential of cutting-edge science? If you would like to learn more, contact: [email protected]