SOUL-e

An Artificial Intelligence-based Mentor

How will it meet the five elements in the guidelines

Self-awareness:

SOUL-e is a software application (mobile and desktop) that acts as a mentor to a person in order to help them develop self-awareness, emotional maturity, and a life that has meaning and purpose.

Use of technology:

SOUL-e is based on a unique technology that involves a combination of artificial intelligence, awareness-based psychology, art, and storytelling.

For everyday people in everyday life:

SOUL-e is designed to be a practical self-development tool. As such, it allows you to work with and learn from experiences and challenges we encounter in our life such as: unexpected or disturbing events, dreams, interaction with other people, feelings, questions regarding life direction, etc.

Mobilize authentic connections:

One unique aspect of SOUL-e is that instead of giving pre-defined “expert” answers, it guides the user to find answers within themselves, just like a good mentor or counselor would.

Suppose you had an unpleasant experience with someone at work. Soul-e would help you identify what known or unknown part of yourself got triggered in the interaction (self awareness). Then it will guide you to explore what is the deeper meaning (and message) of that situation, what can you learn about yourself from it. For example, what is your inner relationship with the essential quality (after it has been stripped of it’s negative expression) of the other person (empathy). And last but not least, how can you change your approach, to find a way that is more authentic to who you are, and lead to more harmonious interaction with others and the world (leadership).

In effect, SOUL-e it acts as a high-tech mirror for people’s own inner wisdom and guidance, by facilitating them to tap into their own imaginative and creative powers. It does this through the use of structure dialogue and, when appropriate, by employing imaginary scenarios that allow the user to free their mind from the constrains of their usual view of reality and of themselves. (We have made available a couple of earlier prototypes of such imaginary scenarios, in order to demonstrate their ability to provide a change in perspective.)

Relationships:

As can be seen from the example above, the kind of self-awareness achieved by using SOUL-e automatically involves and possibly solves relationship issues. The main assumption behind its logic is that our external life and relationships mirror our inner world and the relationship we have with ourselves. Therefore we interchangeably use events in one world to understand the other, and then to harmonize the two in order to achieve authenticity within ourselves and in our relationships.

Sharing:

SOUL-e offers the ability to share certain items we discovered about ourselves with our social group in order to achieve support and understanding in our effort to become more authentic.
Suppose you share this message: “Soul-e says: ‘there is a part of yourself who can be a good leader’ ”. This may attract replies from your community that would reinforce that new and still fragile aspect of your identity. A childhood friend may say: “Of course you do. When we were always following you and your ideas because they were so creative and we had so much fun”. And so on.
Area of application

As defined in the first version, the project applies mostly to the wellness area, but dedicated derivatives could be easily created for other specific areas such as workplace and education.

What sets it apart from similar efforts

Most self-awareness solutions available out there (not just computer technology, but also books, videos, workshops), are limited in the fact that they are either too generic – giving predefined answers – and not focused on a specific individual’s process, or they last for a short time and it is up to the individual to come up with a structure that fits them and keeps the momentum of change going in their everyday life.

SOUL-e is available anytime, any place (where you can carry your mobile phone), and is profoundly personalized to you and your life. Not only does it advice come from what is within you, but also, as you keep interacting with it, it learns and adapts to you and your life process. Therefore finding answers becomes easier with time, and you can also track your development and get a comprehensive / higher picture on your inner and our life.

We actually had users asking us if there is a human they are talking with when using SOUL-e, not because the answer passed as human-like, but because it resonated with them, and displayed deep insight into the their own psyche. We also had users saying they feel like SOUL-e is alive, and knows them.

In many ways, this could be seen as a new paradigm in defining the task of Artificial Intelligence. Instead of trying to create a computer that can pass for an average human intelligence, create technology that can connect an average human mind with the wisdom and genius available in every human being.

Budget and timeline

We have created DREAM-e in about three month, with a budget of 10,000 USD. This was preceded of about one year of research and prototyping.

Although SOUL-e is a significantly more complex project, most of the research has already been done. We will also be able to leverage the large amount of experience accumulated with developing DREAM-e, and reuse a large part of the code base.

We expect SOUL-e to take about 6 month and cost about 30,000 USD to release the first version of the app on both desktop (PC/Mac/Linux) and mobile (iOS/Android) platforms.

The funds from the 1440 award will be used toward this goal as follows:

  • 10k: desktop app development
  • 10k: iOS and Android porting of the desktop app
  • 5k: writing, illustration, music, and graphic design

Bios, URLs

Technosophics Ltd is a private company founded with the vision of creating technology that promotes development of consciousness. Dream-e, our first commercial app (using an early version ofSOUL-e focused on dream-analysis), has peaked at Top5 in the Amazon Appstore for Android.
Our team has a unique combination of proven world class skills in artificial intelligence, psychology, art, and storytelling.

Core team:

Adi Andrei – Technical Lead – has over 17 years of R&D experience in Artificial Intelligence. He received multiple awards, including two patents for his work for NASA. He consulted for Unilever Research, and was instrumental in the development of the first commercial e-ink display for Philips. He is also an accomplished martial artist, and dream therapist.

 

 

Hitomi Sakamoto PhD – Psychologist – has spent more than 18 years working as a psychotherapist with individuals, couples and groups in Japan, U.S. and in Europe. Her approach has inspired those who seek to find creative solutions to identified problems, as well as those who wish to tap their own potential and wisdom. She is also the organizer of the Dream Cafe meetup in central London.

 

Other members of the team:

Greg Becker – illustrator,writer,composer – plot52.blogspot.com

 

 

 

Didem Newton – graphic design

 

 

 

Partners:

Billy-Creative Ltd, iOS development
Alki Labs Inc, mobile development

External validation and support?

We have tested and proven the viability of our technology by using an early, limited version of SOUL-e in our first commercial product DREAM-e (www.technosophics.com/dream-e.html) a Desktop/Mobile app that offers a new way to analyze dreams and learn about yourself from it.

Since its release in February 2012, DREAM-e has been downloaded more than 10,000 times and it received very positive reviews from people in the psychology community as well as from mainstream users.

It consistently stayed in the top 200 medical apps on Google Play in English speaking countries (top 30 in Japan). It also reached the Top 5 Lifestyle apps on Amazon.com.