Gazouyi: a start-up that has combined artificial intelligence with linguistics in order to help parents track their children's development

Changed on 16/11/2021
With a name that comes from the French word “gazouillis”, which refers to the first attempts a baby makes to communicate with its environment, Gazouyi is one of the most recent start-ups to emerge from the Inria Paris research centre. Let’s take a closer look at how cognitive machine learning is being used to aid infant development.
Femme portant son bébé dans les bras
© Unsplash / Dakota Corbin


The aim behind Gazouyi, which was created in 2020 within the joint team CoML (Inria Paris, EHESS, ENS, CNRS) with support from Inria Startup Studio, was to develop a mobile app to help parents understand and track the development and well-being of children aged 0 to 5.

Outsiders in the tech world

Gazouyi was set up by three individuals: Victor D’herbemont, an engineer specialising in machine learning for use in developmental modelling, is the CEO and CTO of Gazouyi.  Xuan Nga Cao, who has a PhD in linguistics from the City University of New York and who is a research engineer with CoML, is responsible for the educational module. Lastly, Salomé Bannon, a graduate of Paris Dauphine University and co-founder of La Petite Ourse (a company specialising in children's events), is director of operations.

As a team, they aren’t like your “typical” tech start-up, given the range of different profiles and career backgrounds. With expertise in engineering, machine learning, linguistics, innovation and parenthood, they have been able to bridge the gap between scientific research and the needs of parents looking to find the right information at the right time in relation to their children’s development. The three co-founders all shared one common goal: to make understanding and monitoring of the development of young children accessible to all.


Taking an interest in a child’s development shouldn't be complex. With Gazouyi, we want to make it accessible, fun and - most importantly - useful, helping parents to developer a better understanding of their children's daily lives, their emotions and how they react to things.


Victor D’herbemont


CEO and CTO of Gazouyi

An app that uses cognitive machine learning to aid children’s development without screens

The team has built an educational module made up of two main components:

  • Activities devised by professionals, each linked to one of the 300 child development milestones between birth and the age of five. These activities don’t require the use of a phone or any other equipment: children have no contact with screens, the goal being to stimulate them in a secure, family environment.
  • A recommendation engine that offers a weekly selection of activities that correspond to the child’s individual needs.

Gazouyi is based around active educational strategies, taking into account activities the family may or may not have done in the past in the application. The more time the family spends together on activities, the better the application becomes at offering content tailored to suit their daily lives.

Well established roots

Having been among the first graduates from Inria Startup Studio in February 2020, they were able to spend a year working in the laboratory, focusing 100% on their project, putting together their educational module and taking courses on business support (finance, HR, legal, etc.).

Now a Startup Studio alumnus, they officially launched their application on all platforms in January 2021 and have maintained very close ties with the Transfer, Innovation and Partnerships Department at Inria Paris. Inria is also a shareholder in Gazouyi.


The aim now for Gazouyi is to attract users and to build partnerships that will enable us to get as many people as possible using Gazouyi.


Salomé Bannon


Director of operations for Gazouyi

An idea, a project... ? Talk to the Transfer, Innovation and Partnerships Department at the Inria Paris research centre