IVOW wins Google Assistant Developer of the Year for Sina Storyteller

Imagine if your virtual assistants could do more than tell you the time or give you a weather report. What if you could also ask them to tell you stories about amazing women throughout history, or stories about food from cultures around the world?

This dream is becoming a reality thanks to IVOW, an early stage startup who was just named as Project Voice’s Google Assistant Developer of the Year for their work on Sina Storyteller.

Sina Storyteller is the award-winning storyteller for smart devices who can tell you stories from around the world in your home, car, office, or school. Sina is being built by journalists and developers at IVOW, a startup developing cultural intelligence for AI. IVOW stands for Intelligent Voices of Wisdom.

Nikki McLay presenting at Project Voice Worldwide April 15, 2021

At the 2021 Project Voice Awards on April 15–16, IVOW was recognized for Sina Storyteller, winning Google Assistant Developer of the Year, the Medal for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Outstanding Achievement Award.

The awards were presented by Project Voice Worldwide, an organization that exists to showcase leaders, trailblazers, and pioneers working in the fields of voice and artificial intelligence. Nikki McLay of IVOW opened the Project Voice conference with her keynote address on the role of cultural intelligence in the AI voice industry.

“Technology has shaped how we consume stories, whether through print, radio, television, or podcasts, AI is another tool and it’s a FASCINATING one. I’m passionate about this space because of the need for artificial intelligence to be more diverse and inclusive and to ensure that the future of AI is both relevant and accessible to everyone using it,” said Nikki McLay.

Watch the demo of Sina presented at Project Voice Worldwide:

Chatbots are taking the internet by storm. According to Forbes, 50% of Americans used a chatbot to interact with a brand in the past year, and 64% of organizations plan to increase their AI investment over the coming year. In this space, brands are looking for ways to reach consumers in more personalized and authentic ways that also don’t perpetuate harmful historical biases. With Sina, enterprises can sponsor content that is rich, interactive and engaging.

According to IVOW’s founder Davar Ardalan, “One of the best ways to learn about a culture is by studying the festivals where their traditions and heritage are celebrated. With Sina Storyteller, you could be sitting at home on your couch or in your kitchen, and only using your voice you can ask her to tell you a story about the Shalako festival of the Zuni people. Or you could ask for a recipe from the Navajo Nation. Sina represents the next generation of interactive storytelling. Think podcasts 2.0.”

​For instance, the demo knowledge graph we have created is a database that organizes stories so that an AI like Sina can share them. These stories are already in the public domain and can help us remember sustainable ways to grow food and to maintain good health. The digital transformation of cultural knowledge into AI-suitable datasets is an important step in helping future machines like Sina become aware of global cultures. Sustainable food enterprises can sponsor Sina as a way to share even more stories.​

You can interact with Sina on Google Assistant by using the invocation phrase “​OK Google: Talk to Sina Storyteller”. Reach out to hello@ivow.ai to learn more and be part of this journey.

IVOW Founder and Storyteller in Chief