Dory

Your Personal Digital Confidant.

Brief

We're heading toward a more automated and intimate world, design an AI experience that values user's trust and privacy.

Category

Privacy

Roles

Design + Research

chat

I think there is a possible future where maybe we do just take a hard turn away from the Internet and we do start valuing our privacy again.

— Brian K. Vaughan, American TV Writer

Mission

An AI you can confide in.

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We're witnessing the largest-ever introduction of AI into our most private sanctuary — the home. From smart thermostats to smart fridges, everything is connected. We may be reaping the short-term benefits but at what costs?

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How can we get the most out of our virtual assistants without them getting too much out of us?

We got an Amazon Echo last year. My little kids loved it. Whenever they're curious: it's no longer "Mummy, what is...", it's "Alexa, what is..."

Cheryl D.

I use Siri extensively when my hands are busy or simply when I'm lazy. She knows who I need to call back or the time for the alarm to wake me up. She's great!

Ngoc V.

It creeped me out first time I saw an ad for a handbag on Facebook - the exact style and color I was looking at the day before. They even slapped a nice discount on that too!

Anne G.

People say they get nervous not knowing if Siri or the government is listening in on their conversations at home. The question is not "if," but "when."

Bruce H.

keyboard_arrow_up User Interviews

I interviewed close friends about the experiences they have with AI, especially when it comes to privacy and the role it plays in their family dynamics.

Method

In Person. One-on-one.

Role

Design research.

subject

Research

Global information services group Experian did a report in 2016 surveying a total of 1300 Amazon Echo users. Below are some interesting takeaways.

Room to grow

At the time of survey, commands given to Alexa are generally unsophisticated. As developers integrate more 'skills' into Alexa's playbook, we can expect to see more and more involved use cases.

Shared space

Household AI are becoming more social as well. Usually placed in more communal areas of the home (kitchen - 50.9%, living room - 33.5%), Alexa enjoys the company of 2 or more users, sometimes even simultaneously.

Greg
& Ellen
Harrington


A young couple from Pasadena, Calif.

accessibility Bio

2 years into their long-distance relationship, Greg & Ellen finally moved in together. Greg upped his roots from the East Coast to Pasadena, CA to work for a budding Biotech firm. Ellen — a SoCal native — said farewell to her little beach cottage in Venice to work in downtown LA.

devices Tech

Both of them are fluent in tech. The couple owns 2 Amazon Echo Dots: one in the living room, one in the bedroom.

graphic_eq Sharing

mail

Gmail

shopping_cart

Amazon
Prime

local_movies

Netflix

cloud

iCloud


create From the interviews

Couples are 67% more likely to have some form of shared accounts that is created after they've been together.

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Conflict

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The
Just-moved-in
Couple

The life of this couple represents a sweet spot in which each party agrees, to an extent, to compromise their privacy in order to realize a joint effort.

They best symbolize the struggle we're having with privacy in our everyday life: demanded to be fully understood, yet also wanting to reserve something to ourselves.

"To have room to be, to play alone, to have private thoughts, to have space, to develop an authentic self–is crucial."

— Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP

trust

privacy

sharing

surprise

together

self

Introducing Dory

The virtual assistant drew inspirations from the Disney character 'Dory' whose forgetfulness made her the perfect companion for an overly-protective Marlin on his journey to get his child back.

create From the interviews

All of the interviewees, when asked, preferred a female AI rather than a male one, especially when it comes to deciding aspects such as trust and comfort.

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Dory is a privacy layer designed to protect your identity and personal preferences.

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For the whispery-type

Powered by deep learning, Dory accurately recognizes various degrees of speed, pitch and tone unique to each member of your household.

speaker recognition tech open_in_new
keyboard

and the clickety-type.

For a near-silent experience, trigger the Dory chatbot from your favorite messaging platform. Secret messages are encrypted and will be permanently deleted after a brief period of time.

visibility

Old: Data Persistence

It is much easier nowadays to generate data from your activities than trying to get rid of them. Ad networks across websites and services recognize users by throwing cookies at them, and then examine strings of collected data to serve users 'the ad they want'.

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New: Data Impersistence

By generating a layer of pseudo-identity between the user and a service, we can allow the user to effortlessly interact with services without leaving traceable pieces of personal information behind.

User
Flows

person

User

User invokes a command to the AI, requesting a service.

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→ Dory

Dory receives command, creates pseudo-identity made up of only the most essential information.

public

→ World

Dory interacts with service on behalf of user.

Typical Masking flow.

person

User

User invokes a command to Dory, specifically, requesting a service.

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→ Dory

Dory receives command, creates custom privacy parameters and send to the requested service.

public

→ Service

Service API executes command followed by Dory's custom parameters.

Typical Customized flow.

Dory,

keyboard_arrow_rightInitiate Dory

play that video

keyboard_arrow_rightMake a request to YouTube API

of Trump singing 'Treat You Better.'

keyboard_arrow_rightSearch query = 'trump sings treat you better'

keyboard_arrow_rightUser profile = 'anonymous'

replay
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Made to forget

Not just simply keeping your personal information from pesky marketers, Dory offers a host of commands that put your privacy first. When invoked, the AI will always try to complete its task while leaving little to no trace.

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...and also not to.

Over time, Dory learns of what information you values and protects them, so you can order away without worrying!

Dory learns & streamlines your daily interactions

Ok Google,
tell Dory to play the latest
Game of Thrones episode.
Alright, Greg.
Now playing 'Battle of the Bastards'.
I'll set it back to 'unwatched' after you're done.
Thanks Dory.
Hey Dory,
can you find the yellow dress Ellen was talking about?
I think I saw it on Pinterest.
Yes, Greg. Is this the one?
Can you get it for us, please?
Of course, Greg.
Ellen will be very happy.
Make sure it's a surprise, ok?
Okay, Greg.
I'll make sure the order confirmation email is taken care of.
Dory,
can you get me a test pack, quick?
Sure, Ellen. I found 157 'test packs' on Amazon. Would you mind telling me what is it for?
I think I’m pregnant. :")
Right away, Ellen.
The order email is in your private inbox.
I also put a rush on it. You should expect the item later today.
message

Private Inbox

Dory can be set up to communicate with the user via their platform of choice. Messages are meant for their eyes only and will be deleted after a brief period of time.

To special occasions

For their anniversary, Greg wants to surprise his wife Ellen
with a secret romantic dinner

He asks Dory for help

Dory,
our anniversary is coming up in a week.
Can you help me with some suggestions for the dinner plan?
How does 'The Deck' sound?
Enlighten me with some details.
It is an onboard dining experience for two.
You guys did it 2 years ago, off the port of San Pedro, and Ellen even said on Yelp that she loved it.
Ah, I remember now. That was really good.
Should I proceed and reserve a table for two?
Yes. Most excellent, Dory!
You got it, Greg.

Leading to eventual trust

The Harrington household is expecting a new member

Dory,
we're expecting a baby boy.
What should we name him?
Wow. A baby boy it is! Let me see...
How about Nemo? I think I know someone named Nemo!
Haha. Dory you're funny.
'Nemo' is cute though.

Insights

From privacy to trust.

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Since the invention of AI, there has always been this tension between them and the user. Dory aims to take the first step toward resolving that conflict, by putting an emphasis on protecting user privacy.

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Hopefully from this initiative, a renewed trust can be achieved, with user interests front and center.