Voice UIs could help promote diversity

Introducing Loree, the VUI concept that celebrates culture by helping parents pass down their culture.

Given the current global movements to quell diversity, it’s apparent that as designers, we could be doing something about it. Through our exploration of what the near future could hold for Voice UIs (think post- Siri, Alexa, and Google Home), we saw an opportunity to celebrate culture, especially as the tech becomes more intelligent and conversational.

If you’ve been following the recent posts written by our summer interns, then you know that we first set out to create a VUI concept that might help parents raise their children. Through rounds of research and iteration, our designers started to look inward—they were reminded of the gaps in their understanding of their families’ native languages. Because their parents were reluctant to pass down their language in favor of assimilation, their children feel less connected to their heritage. Thinking about how we could address this these issues, paired with the political climate in the US and recent demonstrations and eruptions of violence, we shifted our focus.

We asked: How could we help celebrate culture and diversity—rather than suppress it—through the help of a VUI?

Meet Loree

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 alone. Each and every day, Loree helps parents impart their values and culture, and empowers children to be proud of their identity.

Check out our case study or the Loree microsite to learn more.

While Loree might not exist as a real product (yet), our hope is that in the near-future, VUIs will become smarter, more accessible, and more useful to the point where they’ll help families better share their culture and lead to a celebration of diversity.