App Reviews

Apps are using AI to put a trainer or therapist in your pocket

Wellness apps like 'Reflectly' and 'Kaia' are using artificial intelligence to help us feel better about ourselves

22 July 2018 - 00:00 By Sylvia Mckeown

Imagine this: maybe Terminator got it wrong and Skynet wasn't trying to take over the world but was just looking out for humanity's best interests.
Along that line of thought, a whole crop of new apps that make use of artificial intelligence to help us feel better about ourselves have recently popped up.
This is a new twist on the relationship, as explored in sci-fi narratives, between man and programmable machine intelligence.
FOR OUR MINDS ...
There is Reflectly app, which calls itself your "new personal mindfulness companion". It's not a blonde 20-something yogi from California but a diary laced with AI tech that gently walks you through a positive "journalling" process.
It also asks you how your day was on a sliding scale and what contributed to your mood, for example food, family, love or friends. It even asks you questions like "If no one could judge you, what would you have done differently on that day?" It's practically a tiny pocket therapist.

Depending on what the AI reads in your entries it sends you an audio file of a three-minute message from "Maxie" to encourage positive thoughts and help you work through any difficulties you may be having.
FOR OUR BODIES ...
There is Kaia Perfect Squat Challenge, a fitness app which, through motion detection and AI, reads your body to make sure that you are exercising optimally.
It's no secret that people who gym on their own often don't know what they're doing and so may not see the results they're looking for, or worse, injure themselves. Kaia wants to curb that.
WATCH | How Kaia teaches you the perfect squat..

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