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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