3 Unexpected Uses of AI and Speech Technologies

Thanks to advancements in AI and NLP, speech technologies are enjoying a renaissance of sorts. It’s almost a given, now, that you have a digital assistant in your pocket, but there are many people out there finding new, innovative uses for the technologies that undergird the foundation of speech technology. Here are a few of the uses of speech technology that caught our interest recently: 

Purdue University’s Chat Analysis Triage Tool

Purdue Polytechnic Institute faculty have developed an algorithm tool to help law enforcement filter out and focus on sex offenders most likely to set up face-to-face meetings with child victims. The Chat Analysis Triage Tool (CATT) uses analytics to help law enforcement officers who are inundated with cases involving the sexual solicitation of minors. CATT allows the officers to work through the volume of solicitations and use algorithms to examine the word usage and conversation patterns by a suspect. Data was taken from online conversations provided voluntarily by law enforcement around the country.

Mental Health Chatbots

Having trouble finding a therapist you connect with? Try a chatbot. According to The IT Journal for Healthcare Leaders, “Appearing in the form of a cute penguin, the technology of the ‘happiness buddy’ set up by US-startup Touchkin is based on Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) guidelines. Any advice the AI friend can give has initially been approved by practising counsellors. Once installed, the chatbot works by itself following certain emotion-recognition algorithms and conversational flows scripted by psychologists.” For people with access to more traditional mental health care, these kinds of chatbots might be used for between visit maintenance. But for people living in remote areas without access to therapists, these kinds of chatbots might become the first line of defense.

Gabbie Chabot Offers Help to Harassment Victims

If the #METOO moment has taught us anything, it’s that there are far more victims of sexual harassment and assault than we ever imagine. Enter Gabbie, a chatbot designed to collate reports of sexual harassment. Gabbie starts by asking a user if he or she was harassed or just wants more information. Gabbie then asks the user to categorize the type of harassment he or she experienced, giving the user a choice of workplace harassment, street harassment, online harassment, or lascivious acts committed by strangers, friends, or family members. Gabbie--which is coded with information based on laws in the Philippines laws--will then explain why the deed violated existing statutes. If the user chooses to file a complaint against the offender, Gabbie will ask several questions about the alleged harassment with the assurance that the information will be confidential. Here’s the really cool part. The chatbot then compiles the information provided and users can download the complaint. From there they can submit to law enforcement, human resource departments, lawyers, or government agencies.

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