Accenture and Swedish utility are betting that smart speakers and Google Voice Assistant can capture memories and retain oral histories for future generations and provide companionship for the elderly.
Stockholm, Sweden has more than 250,000 residents suffering from acute loneliness, according to a report from Stockholm County Council. Loneliness is likely to become a global issue amid technology use, population trends and a host of other factors. Meanwhile, technology companies are increasingly looking at voice assistants and AI for healthcare applications. Amazon recently launched HIPAA-compliant Alexa healthcare skills.
Memory Lane aims to invite people into a conversation to capture their life stories. Memory Lane then captures the conversation and coverts it into a book and podcast. Using AI, Accenture Interactive software essentially co-authors a human/machine life story.
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These stories can then be captured by future generations. In a nutshell, the Memory Lane effort aims to replicate oral histories that have been passed down from generations. Stockholm Exergi sees the Accenture collaboration as a way to improve elderly health.
Also: CNET Wellness
Here are some key facts about Accenture's software behind Memory Lane:
- The software is patent pending and consists of a responsive voice assistant.
- This assistant asks targeted questions via following conversations and using details to create a connection.
- Memory graphs are created and use AI to ask next questions and follow-ups. Memory graphs enable Memory Lane to use a taxonomy to pick up conversations where people left off.
- Application development was informed by medical research on loneliness, depression and associated health conditions such as dementia.
- The software took two years to develop and Accenture found that elderly were into sharing stories for interaction as well as a way to capture memories.
It's unclear whether Memory Lane can replace social interaction for the elderly, but may be able to fend off declines in mental and physical health. Accenture said that the plan is to roll out the Memory Lane concept and platform out to multiple people and age groups.