Press release

Accenture Interactive Launches Groundbreaking Artificial Intelligence Solution to Tackle Elderly Loneliness

Sponsored by Businesswire

Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has released a groundbreaking new project for one
of Sweden’s largest energy suppliers, Stockholm
. Dubbed Memory Lane, the solution works with Google Voice
Assistant and uses a unique conversational artificial intelligence which
allows people, particular the elderly, to capture memorable stories for
future generations while also providing companionship.

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Memory Lane is being used by Accenture
and Stockholm Exergi to address the challenges of
elderly loneliness and provide an innovative social solution. Engaging
with people through a smart speaker, Memory Lane enables a conversation
by inviting someone who is lonely to tell their life story – a story
that might never have been told. Once Memory Lane has captured the whole
discourse, the discussion is converted instantly into both a physical
book and a podcast. Quite simply, Memory Lane co-writes a story by human
and machine that can be shared by participants with future generations.

Thomas Gibson, chief marketing officer at Stockholm Exergi says: “For
more than 100 years, Stockholm Exergi has warmed Stockholmers with our
energy services and through social outreach. We wanted to take a bigger
step towards making Stockholm a warmer place for all and we knew
Accenture Interactive could help us develop something that would create
true impact. Initially we’re looking to help improve elderly health and
take a step towards a more inclusive and socially sustainable Stockholm.”

Powering Memory Lane is a patent-pending software, developed by Accenture
Interactive Innovation Center
, that enables a responsive voice
assistant that can ask targeted questions to humans by actively
following conversations. By commiting important details to memory,
Memory Lane creates unique connections between information that a human
shares with it. These connections or ‘memory graphs’ then fuel which
questions to ask next, allowing this unique A.I. to hold an emotive,
meaningful and human conversation.

With more than 250,000 Stockholmers experiencing acute loneliness
according to the latest Stockholm
County Council report,
Sweden is considered to be one of the
loneliest countries in the world. Among these sufferers, the elderly are
one of the worst affected. Looking to support a group in society that is
rarely noticed and often forgotten, Stockholm Exergi collaborated with
Accenture Interactive to step up their social outreach initiatives.

Following extensive medical research into elderly health, Accenture
Interactive discovered that loneliness accelerated health problems
including depression and early stage dementia in the elderly. When it
comes to comparable health concerns, independent studies also confirm
that unwanted loneliness is as dangerous as smoking and obesity.

Adam Kerj, Nordics chief creative officer at Accenture Interactive,
says: “When people experience little to no social interaction over
extended periods of time, it can cause a sharp decline in their mental and
physical health. In the two years we spent developing the software and
the concept of the platform, we observed the urge to share stories by
lonely participants was incredibly strong. To this end, we not only
wanted to develop something that could hold a human-like conversation
with them, but also capture those memories so they didn’t end up untold.”

The technology behind the Memory Lane project was initiated two years
ago at Accenture
Interactive Innovation Centre
in Sophia Antipolis. The voice
assistant can ask personal questions and understand the correlation
between different answers, which triggers relevant follow-up questions.
Every day, Memory Lane analyses the previous conversation to get to the
heart of the topic and to create a memory graph — a virtual and
structured version of a person’s memory. The memory graph encodes
information from the conversation history and compiles it into a graph
structure. The structure is based on a hierarchal taxonomy where
information is represented and where the correlation between information
is identified. It produces a summary of the conversation — that can
re-tell a person’s story in a human way. Accenture Interactive is
exploring future use cases for the software.

Christian Souche, director at Accenture Interactive Innovation Center,
adds: “We installed Memory Lane in the participants’ homes and it
instantly sparked intimate conversations. It brought old memories and
amazing life stories to life; stories that had never been told before.
Prior to this, voice technology is not often perceived as human but this
project and collaboration with Stockholm Exergi demonstrates that
technology can contribute to connecting generations and making society
healthier. Eventually we want to open this concept and platform out to
everyone, to share their life stories, regardless of age.”

Listen to the Memory Lane curated stories here:

About Accenture

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Accenture Interactive helps the world’s leading brands transform their
customer experiences across the entire customer journey. Through our
connected offerings in design, marketing, content and commerce, we
create new ways to win in today’s experience-led economy. Accenture
Interactive is ranked the world’s largest digital agency in the latest
Ad Age Agency Report, for the third year in a row, and was named a 2019
Most Innovative Company in Advertising by Fast Company. To learn more,
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