Spirit, a social assistant to strengthen communities


Spirit is a Speculative Design project, developed for the London Design Museum on the topic of the future of ageing.

Our concept is Spirit, an artificially-intelligent personal assistant – like Apple’s Siri – designed to augment our social bonds, but using the technologies of tomorrow.

During our research phase, we found out that developments in technology such as automatisation can make human contact unnecessary. Shopping, working, planning trips or learning about news can be done already without human contact. It becomes a commodity.

Spirit would be the technology answer to get back this social contact.

We envisage a world where we’ll give Spirit access to every part of our lives: who we speak, what we read, and watch; even, though tiny sensors in our body, what we eat, and drink, and how we respond physically, emotionally, and psychologically to people, places, things.

Spirit’s algorithm then analyses that data to build a fine-grained profile of us, and discern who, and what, keeps us socially active, mentally stimulated, and physically healthy. Spirit then uses that data to improve our conversations, and help us meet potential friends, students or co-workers it predicts would be good for us.

Spirit is a provocation on the increasingly important, intimate and intrusive role technologies play in our lives. Today’s emerging technologies are tomorrow’s design tools. As our lives, and societies are shaped by them, placing human-centredness at the heart of services like Spirit will become hugely significant.

For the visual interface see also: http://waltzbinaire.com/work/talktome/




Design Museum

Copyright IDEO, Photography by Luke Hayes
Agi Haines – Body part design
Studio Waltz Binaire – Visual interface & Data Viz

LINK: https://labs.ideo.com/2017/05/30/could-ai-replace-design-researchers/