AI biography device targets 1m ‘life stories’
Posted on June 9, 2021 by Jonathan Symcox
A non-profit social history initiative is launching a crowdfunding campaign with the aim of raising £700,000 to support the launch of its voice-controlled AI biography device.
The Augr device is designed to talk, listen, interview and record users as they reminisce about their past, to produce a broadcast quality recording of their life story.
Developed by a team of experts, drawing on AI technology used by Cortana and Alexa, the technology is programmed to respond to the users’ voice. The device even initiates conversations to help draw out people’s wonderful stories from the past.
Early backers of the Augr campaign can pledge their support for under £130. In exchange, the organisation says they will receive an audio biography package worth £600, including the Augr audio biography device itself and a guaranteed lifetime membership to BiogSpace.
BiogSpace is a cloud-based personal biography space where they can upload recordings, curate stories and then choose who to share them with – friends, family or just themselves.
They can also add other biographical details like photographs, written materials or anything else that helps to illustrate the story.
The development comes after Augr found that a majority of people have stories from their past that no one knows about and that many worry these stories will die with them. Over 70% of people believe it’s important to keep loved ones’ memories alive after they’ve passed.
Justin Hopkins, founder of Augr, said: “Over the past century the way we live our lives has changed exponentially, and while ground-breaking stories of war heroes and campaigners are well documented, stories of everyday people often remain untold.
“The ultimate mission is to collect many millions of these untold stories, creating a safe place for people to reflect on their life and share their experiences.
“If there’s anything we’ve learned recently, it’s that we need to find ways to be forever close to the people that we love.”
The crowdfunding campaign can be found here.