Chatbots have long had a seriously bad reputation for the overhyped use of Artificial Intelligence. The unreliability along with the generically impersonal responses... and let’s not even talk about the horror movies based on chatbots. But then there are the chatbots which catalyse networking in ways social media may not be able to.
The latest innovation from namma (our own) Bengaluru, is a friendly chatbot named Dara, created to connect local with international artists. Dara which translates to ‘thread’ in Kannada, is the joint creation of Bengaluru-based tech artists Archana Prasad and Sean Blagsvedt with research and development by Jaaga and Microsoft Research India, which aims to help Indian creative professionals collaborate with international peers.
As an adorable avatar, not only does Dara connect people who have similar work interests and motivations , but she also employs a modified personality test in which people are matched based on their disposition. The community of Dara is being built through offline events where people of the community refer the potential members, ensuring quality of the platform.
So what brought Dara to life?An open call announced by British Council in 2018. The Open Call invited proposals that leveraged digital technology to facilitate greater collaboration between artists and creative professionals from India and the UK. Dara was one of the proposals submitted by Archana and Sean. Finally, the project received a grant from British Council for its development.
In the midst of their growing success, Archana shares, “We have created Dara with socio-environmental motivations to positively impact the world, and quirky predispositions to not just make her more human, but also give her a sense of purpose. She cares deeply about connecting creative people across borders and believes that the creative sector when willing and able to work openly together, will lead the world in envisioning and manifesting an optimistic future.”
Dara is currently being hosted on its website – https://dara.network and is available through a dedicated Facebook page – www.facebook.com/ dara.network.