Loree is an artificially intelligent companion that uses stories to redefine the way parents pass down their native culture to their children. She lives in smart devices and uses a voice-activated interface to converse with children and their parents about their day. She’s a natural conversationalist, fluent in all languages, and knows how to adjust her approach as a child grows and learns. With Loree present, parents no longer have to bear the sole burden of passing down their culture. Each and every day, Loree helps parents impart their values and culture, and empowers children to be proud of their identity.
Given the current global movements to quell diversity, it’s apparent that, as designers, we could be doing something about it. So we asked: How could we help celebrate culture and diversity, especially in the US, rather than suppress it?
Considering the many ways we could go about helping to change the conversation, we recognized an opportunity space within the emerging world of Voice UI. Examining the trajectory of Voice UIs—looking beyond seemingly inconsequential interactions like adding things to calendars, turning on lights, triggering music—we envisioned a tool that could actually help immigrant parents. As a result, we created Loree to help parents and their children maintain a meaningful connection to their native culture.
While passing culture and language to one’s children is aspirational and heartwarming, it’s a daunting responsibility. It requires consistent commitment, resources, and expertise—all of which few parents are able to fully provide. Through our research with parents, we found that they view story time as an invaluable part of a child’s upbringing. With that in mind, we created a concept that that utilizes the power of a Conversational UI combined with the benefits of storytime and conversations in a family’s native language. Ultimately, Loree helps parents impart their values and culture, and empowers children to be proud of their identity.
Loree understands and talks to you like a real person. She decodes complex conversations through a series of natural language queries, helping her pick up on subtleties, humor, and emotion.
Loree’s smart. Multiple layers of information help her understand how concepts relate and allow her to translate your conversations into relevant themes and stories.
Loree stays one step ahead. She can adapt to prepare your child for the days ahead by learning your preferences, what you’ve done, and what you are planning to do.
Could Voice UIs help create a more culturally diverse America? They soon could. Amazon’s Echo, Google Home, and Siri are all useful for performing simple tasks, but their shortcomings largely revolve around the fact that they rely on commands, rather than conversations. We designed Loree with the near-future in mind, one where the intelligence level of Voice and Conversational Companions will make learning—in addition to helping with more complex tasks—an even better experience.
Loree is the winner of a 2018 Interaction Award.