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Beatriz Bustos wins “Voice for the planet” award

Beatriz Bustos

Beatriz Bustos, MMG employee, has been one of the winners of the Hackathon “Voice for the planet”. The contest was organized by the association WWF (World Wildlife Fund). It was held this weekend at the Google for Startups in Madrid. It is also part of the VoiceXLab initiative of the technology company Sngular and the creative transformation consultancy PS21. The MMG employee won with her team thanks to her Doni project: an assistant who will help to have sustainable consumption habits. At the same time, this initiative will allow a more efficient use of food.

According to the conservation organization, global biodiversity is “decreasing at an alarming rate,” with a decline of 60% in the populations of fish, amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles between 1970 and 2014, according to WWF’s Living Planet report. In this sense, the NGO denounces that the current model of production and consumption has a great impact on the environment.

COMPETITION

The competition consisted, among other things, of exploring the potential of virtual voice assistants to solve challenges related to the protection of the environment. In addition, participants have developed methodologies that can be replicated in business schools. For this reason, computer scientists, UX designers, programmers and linguists have come together to design tools that will help fight environmental threats, such as unsustainable consumption and loss of biodiversity.

The aim of the event was to explore how voice interaction technology can be used to solve some of the major challenges facing humans in nature conservation. The first called “Let’s talk to nature. How can voice user interfaces help people value nature more and feel closer to it?” The second was about “We devour the Planet. How can voice user interfaces help people choose and consume food in a more sustainable and earth-friendly way?”

Six teams were presented, consisting of a maximum of five people. In this sense, Beatriz Bustos blames her group’s victory on the fact that it was the only one that had a computer linguist. “We were able to develop the flow of dialogue and, therefore, it made us very different from the rest. In addition, “we took into account each of the advice given to us by the mentors and organizers,” she notes.

DONI ASSISTANT

Assistant Doni, based on the personality of chef José Andrés who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian activism when he traveled to Puerto Rico to feed 100,000 people who had suffered the consequences of Hurricane Maria. In fact, the skill will put recipients (people in social exclusion) and intermediaries in contact. The system will also choose the pick-up point. Also try to create an environmental impact.

Specifically, as Beatriz Bustos points out, “in different cultures data impact in one way or another”. Thanks to the Doni assistant it will be possible to “translate the data to create environmental awareness“. Also, the application will help to optimize the shopping list and will tell you what you want to donate. Finally, it will provide information to make people aware of the benefits of sustainable consumption.