We all want to remain at home as they age, but the tasks we may find easy when we’re younger get more difficult as we age or have a disability. We had a vision to create an AI that makes homes safer and more supportive for those aging in place. In honor of Dr. Peter Scott-Morgan and his husband Francis, which inspired the vision, appliedAIstudio calls this system HighcliffAI. It marshals a network of people, services, and devices to actively look out for people inside a home. It learns and encourages healthy routines. It keeps an eye on home maintenance. It gets help if it detects signs of distress. No one should have to leave home because of sickness or disability. HighcliffAI Home helps bridge the gap.
Lenovo & 321 Coffee
Our relationship with Lenovo began during our shared support of the Scott-Morgan Foundation. Lenovo introduced us to 321 Coffee— a coffee roastery with the purpose of providing meaningful employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They’re also part of the Lenovo Evolve Small business initiative. 321 Coffee signed on as the customer zero because they wanted HighcliffAI to support roasters in their roastery in a similar way that HighcliffAI would support people in their homes. Lenovo agreed to sponsor the project because they believe that technology should be a force for diversity and inclusion.
321 Coffee was founded to provide meaningful employment for people with intellectual or developmental disability (IDDs). All of the roasters have an IDD, which impacts their ability to different degrees to plan and order tasks. This necessitated a 1:1 roaster to manager staffing plan. Our goal for HighcliffAI was to further increase job quality for the roasters by increasing their autonomy and confidence. We modified HighcliffAI to care about 321 Coffee's operational environment—what things need to happen in which order. The intent was for roasters to rely on HighcliffAI instead of a manager for help with planning and ordering a series of tasks.
We deployed HighcliffAI on Lenovo’s hardware– specifically Lenovo’s tablet computers. Those tablets were installed as heads-up displays throughout 321 Coffee’s roastery. Once the tablets were in place and HighcliffAI could monitor coffee operations, the roasters could begin to rely on HighcliffAI for support rather than their managers. While the roasters knew their individual tasks well, remembering the order or keeping track of where they were in the sequence of tasks was difficult for them. This meant they needed 1 to 1 supervisor support and had little autonomy at work. With each mini-release of features, and quick feedback on what made a positive difference for the roasters, HighcliffAI could provide them what they needed to know about overall plans or sequence details. HighcliffAI became their work partner, rather than their supervisor.
When we first visited 321 Coffee's roastery, prior to adapting HighcliffAI, we observed their most experienced Roaster needing regular guidance and close supervision from a manager to be able to do her job. On our second visit for the beta release, the same Roaster now referred to HighcliffAI when needing guidance. By our third visit with the production release, the Roaster was confident enough, she no longer needed to regularly rely on HighcliffAI. Additionally, between our 2nd and 3rd visits, this Roaster showed a less experienced Roaster how to use HighcliffAI. And, on our 3rd visit we saw the less experienced Roaster be able to independently complete a series of complex tasks without direct management supervision. As 321 Coffee's business grows, this means more Roasters can work without an increase in manager supervision, which allows 321 Coffee to meet their demand by offering more positions for people with IDD.
respond to distress
You can allow HighcliffAI to alert trusted friend and family if it detects signs of distress from authorized cameras, wearables or microphones.
maintain the home
You can give HighcliffAI permission to look out for the regular maintenance of your home using authorized cameras or microphones.
Depending on your preferences, HighcliffAI can use connected wearable devices and smart cameras to learn and encourage healthy routines.
the home bundle
The goal is to use the technology validated in the 321 Coffee launch as the basis of a consumer home bundle that can be bought on retail shelves and used in the home. The bundle will come with an artificial intelligence hub and a smart camera. Installation is simple. The hub can connect to and use your existing smartphone, connected wearables (like smart watches), and smart appliances.
Imagine augmenting the environments of digital workers like Data Engineers and Data Scientists, and Network Engineers. We know these roles can be rather abused, but imagine what a company could accomplish if the energy they spent putting out fires and brute-forcing system integrations was spent on building new ways to use the company's data?