Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Robot : A Therapeutic Machine ?


Times of India ( 04 Oct 2016 ) carries a news report titled :

" In Japan , Robot Babies to make lonely people happy / Bot is built in a way to invoke an Emotional Connect "

The report reads :

Paro , a robot baby seal marketed by Japanese company, Intelligent System Co Ltd , acts as a therapeutic machine to soothe elderly dementia sufferers
Around a quarter of Japan's population is over 65 with a dearth of care workers , putting strain on social services

Toyota, sees its own robot , Kirobo Mini as a stepping stone to more advanced robots that will be able to recognize and react to human emotions "


Do Indian Start-Ups see an opportunity here for offering to the World's frustrated / depressed / dejected millions , an online / profitable  " Social Service "  managed by real humans , with whom , no robot , however advanced , can compete ?


They should have absolutely no doubt re the viability of such " Service Offering " , after reading my following blog

And what better choice of a day than today - The World Mental Health Day - to offer to the World , some " Not-So-Robot " sympathizing friends !

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Sunday, 24 July 2016

Share - Your - Soul / Outsourcing Unlimited


Business Line ( 23  July , 2016 ) carried an interesting report re mushrooming of " Rent-a-Friend " services in Japan, where you can " rent " ( on hourly basis ) , a fake friend , a family member or a companion for various occasions


One Nashimoto even " rents " himself out for " conversation " to 30 / 40 clients a month ( 70 % women ), for $ 10 per hour . He has an online service .


All kinds of people ( young and old / rich and not-so-rich ), engage him for reasons ranging from,

*  lack of family support / keeping company ( physically or online )

*  social isolation / detachment from society

*  desire to speak out freely without inhibitions

*  advice on dealing with bosses..........etc


Now , online space is overflowing with some genuine ( and some , otherwise ) , " Escort Services " in many countries ( including , in India ) , which are very expensive

And for every rich person in need of such an escort service , there are a hundred , not-so-rich and needy persons , who just need someone online , from time to time , to pour out their hearts !

I believe , thousands of educated / unemployed Indians are well placed to render such " Listening " services to needy persons all around the World , remotely , using Skype / FaceTime

Here is an outline of my suggestion , re how young / educated / unemployed Indians can offer such service :


#  VEHICLE

    This strictly " Online " service will have a platform called ,  www...COUCH...com  ( supported by a Mobile App )


#  USERS

    There will be two kinds of users who will register on this site , viz:

    *  " Talkers " , who want to engage someone who will listen to them / sympathize with them

    *  " Listeners " , who will  listen patiently / ask occasional question / offer advice - sympathy - empathy


#  REGISTRATION FORM

For both type of users , the Registration Form will require to submit following details :

*  Personal Details ( Name / DOB / Gender / Nationality / Bank Account No /  Photo / Short Video etc )

*  Family Details  ( Who are members of immediate family ? )

*  Contact Details ( Address / Mobile No / Email ID / Skype - FaceTime ID / WatsApp..etc )

*  Social Media Footprint  ( Facebook / LinkedIn / Twitter : No of Friends - Contacts - Connections - Followers )

*  Cultural Exposure ( Countries visited / lived-in , with stay-periods / Foreign friends ) 

*  Educational Details ( Degrees / Colleges ) . Listeners having degree in Psychology will get ranked higher !

*  Language Details ( Languages spoken / fluently - reasonably well )

*  Experience Details ( Where worked / for how long ) . Retired / Worldly Wise , Listeners get ranked higher !

*  Availability Details ( Available from - to / GMT- Local time )



Based on the completeness of the Registration Form Details , a software will rate and rank the Listeners , which will
 be visible to the Talkers

There will be facility to update / edit the data submitted

Upon registration , users will be assigned USER ID and PASSWORD

In addition , Listener will be assigned a unique COUCH / INTERVIEW-CABIN number



#  SEARCHING DATABASE OF LISTENERS

    Talkers will be able to search the database of the registered Listeners , except for their " Contact Details "

    Talkers can , then select / shortlist , a few listeners of their preference



#  SERVICE CHARGE

    Talkers will pay $ 2 per hour to the portal , which will credit this amount to the Bank Account of the concerned
    Listener , after deducting 10 % as its own commission



#  PAYMENT MECHANISM

    Using online payment gateway , Talkers will deposit a minimum of $ 20 , on the portal as PRE-PAID amount

    As Talker continues using the service , credit balance will get displayed ( in $ and in " Hours " terms )

    There will be facility for online ( or through Mobile ) re-charging of the account



#  PROCESS

    A Listener can login anytime and occupy his own virtual COUCH / CABIN ( " I am now available for listening " )

    As soon as he does , a GREEN light will shine on the CABIN , showing the online availability of the concerned
    Listener . 

This green light will tell the Talkers : " Welcome ! I am ready to listen "



    The light will turn RED , as soon as a Talker walks into Listener's CABIN ( " I am engaged right now " )

    Any time a Talker logs in , he will find if any Listeners ( that he had previously shortlisted ) are available online

    If he finds one , he simply CLICKS on the CABIN icon and enters that VIRTUAL cabin !


    Simultaneously , both the Talker and the Listener , turn on their Skype ( on Mobile or Tablet ) to start the talk


    Remember , Skype ID of neither the Talker , nor the Listener , is ever visible to each other !


    All conversation / transaction , can ONLY take place through  www...COUCH...com  ( no bypassing ! )


    The entire conversation will get recorded ( Video + Audio ) and can be downloaded by the Talker ( but not by
    the Listener ) , if he so desires


   Portal will be obliged to make this recording available to a Court of Law , in case of any litigation


   Portal will carry a WARNING that it reserves the right to remove any Talker or a Listener , if it finds that its
  service is being misused / abused ( will need defining , in detail )



#  REPUTATION SYSTEM

    At the end of each " talk / conversation " ,  Talker will be obliged to " Rate " the concerned Listener
    on a 5 point scale ( Excellent > Horrible ) . 

Cumulative / Average " Rating " will be prominently
   displayed for guidance of all Talkers . 

Of course , a Listener can see his own rating as soon as he logs in


   At some future date , it should be possible ( through appropriate software ) , to introduce following variations in

   pricing of the service ( ie ; Hourly Rates ) :

   *  Surge Pricing ( depending upon the DEMAND  of any given Listener ) ie: No of Talkers waiting for a given
       Listener at a given point of time


   *  Reputation Pricing , based on points accumulated by a given Listener from all past ratings



#  USAGE  HISTORY

    For each user ( Listener or Talker ) , there will be a Usage History page of all the past transactions / talks ; as
    also Credit Balance ( for the Talker ) and the Earnings ( for the Listener )



#  PRIVACY

    The portal will NOT reveal any info / data ( including Audio-Video recording ) of any user to anyone else.

    However , portal will reserve the rights to subject those Audio recordings ( but not Video recordings ) to
    an Artificial Intelligence ( AI ) software , which can , over a course of time , come up with a SOFTWARE ROBOT
    that can take over the role of the HUMAN listeners !  If you have any doubts , ask Ray Kurzweil  !



    When that happens , this portal may morph into a PPO ( Psychology Process Outsourcing ) !


    The portal will also reserve the rights to use the Audio recordings for offering Voice-to-Voice language
     translation mobile app for the benefit of world-travelers



 #  PROMOTING  THE  SERVICE

     To an extent , the portal may affect the jobs of local Psychologists / Psycho-Analysts who offer low level
     consulting in any country. They will be in danger of being " Bangalored " ! So , it is bound to face resistance
     from those vested / threatened interests !


     But foreign Hospitals / Educational Institutions / NGOs / Medical Colleges , etc could be targeted for promoting



#  BUSINESS  MODEL

    Business Model will be in the nature of " Sharing Economy " , where those owning / possessing " Idle / Spare /
    Under-utilized " assets / resources , will offer the same to those in need / when in need , for a price


    Eg:

    Millions of private car-owners use their cars for ( may be ) two hours per day . Uber aggregates this spare
    capacity and makes it available to travelers who do not own ( or wish to own ) their own cars

    Both parties benefit . Economy also benefits by fuller utilization of the spare/surplus capacities of millions of
    assets



All in all , I think this is a great opportunity for some Indian Start Up to seize


For an depth idea ( Page Write-ups for web site / User Interfaces ) , look up :


#  www.hemenparekh.in > Reports >  OnlineJobsFair

 ( http://hcpreports.blogspot.in/2016/02/online-jobs-fair.html )


Carpe Diem !

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10  Oct  2016

www.hemenparekh.in / blogs



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