Podcast 55: TADSummit Innovators, Lonely Bot, Mike Cairns

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Lonely Bot by Mike Cairns powered by SignalWire. Utilize AI and LLM’s with SignalWire’s technology to curb loneliness. Have a trusted friend to talk with, and automatically reach out to family when Lonely Bot notices you need a human touch.

Mike is a TADHack regular here are some other his other hacks over the years, some of which he competed with his son:

  • TADHack Open 2023, Fitbot, https://youtu.be/usNrvDs0_Do?si=Gf072dq5-Crd6I6W
  • TADHack 2020, Homework Helper, https://youtu.be/wPZqz5vyl14?si=8OOpQMpkw_XYX36d
  • TADHack mini-Pheonix 2020, Feed The Hungry with Food Bot, https://youtu.be/wPZqz5vyl14?si=FrkanFfTRlXzSMxv
  • TADHack-mini Orlando 2019, IoT Smart Room Flags, https://youtu.be/xDS2uean9vs?si=rT5l8_u5q35gcXLy
  • TADHack Orlando Online 2020, Home School Helper, https://youtu.be/37Y7NJ5QeJk?si=rseKJ-fybI4wODBF

Mike’s inspiration for Lonely Bot is his father, and the challenges the elderly face with loneliness. In my experiences, hacks that come from something important in your life are the best.

We get into a discussion around some of the features coming up or hidden in SignalWire AI Gateway that Mike would like to use. There’s so much more functionality SWAIG is adding and exposing, we’re entering a rapidly developing phase in voicebots.

Both Brian and Mike’s elderly relatives have been impacted by scams over the PSTN. There is an epidemic. You are not alone in having elderly relatives being scammed using the phone and SMS.

The FTC received 2.6 million fraud reports from consumers in 2023, an increase of about 8% from the 2.4 million reported in 2022. One in four people reported losing money, with a median loss of $500 per person. Last year, scams cost consumers $8.8 billion, which was an alarming 30% increase over 2021’s total of $6.1 billion. And those are only the ones reported! The actual total is far greater.

The flow of cash is clear: scams steal from our elderly, that funds SMS spam and robocalling, that revenue to carriers pays for share buybacks and dividends to investors. There’s a massive transfer of wealth from people’s life savings into investor’s pockets thanks to the inability of the telecom ecosystem to stop spam/robocalling. This is why the attorney generals of every state in the US are up in arms over the problem. It can and must be stopped!

I finish on something uplifting, a fun YouTube short, ‘Of course they use FreeSWITCH!’ 🙂

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