Sortal – Artificial Intelligence to Understand Human Meaning

  • 2019

  • Digital
    Apps and Software

Designed By:

Commissioned By:

ARTlife Solutions Pty Ltd

Designed In:


Sortal is creative technology that uses artificial intelligence to help businesses and individuals organise, manage and find visual content. Sortal becomes smarter over time to help people as a form of enhanced memory that understands them, their lived experiences and the meaning that imagery has to them.

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  • Sortal is a highly complex platform that uses ensemble artificial intelligence in new and exciting ways, the challenge was to minimise the complexity of the technology 'under the hood' and present an interface to the user that is engaging and easy to understand, where people feel safe, and can trust the system to perform 'magic tricks' with their images for them. Another challenge was how to handle the aspects of responsive design across multiple devices - as a cloud based platform, Sortal can be accessed from any browser whether it is desktop, tablet or mobile.

  • Sortal's interface designs have been through several iterations and tested with users over an 18 month timeframe. Beta testing was undertaken in February last year, and the system was overhauled again from August 2018. By February 2019, we have reached 'final' designs for implementation, based on usability testing and feedback, available for commercial release shortly.

  • Sortal has the potential to make a significant positive impact on society in both the workplace and in personal lives. Initially released for businesses, with an imminent progression into the family home for individuals as a tool for people living with dementia. Sortal operates like enhanced memory - a digital memoir - with a smooth interface that is easy to use. Through our testing, Sortal vastly improves digital image and memory management by reducing manual workloads and cognitive burden. In the workplace, organisations have experienced a significant boost to productivity because the platform "is like having a whole new team member".

  • Sortal learns from interaction, images and other visual information. Early business customers have come from the government, financial, accounting, museums, and event management sectors and it has proven attractive to digital marketers. However, Sortal also applies to industries such as medical and health, robotics, criminology, mining, education and other data heavy professions. In our personal version, Sortal provides an interactive touch based tool for both the individual and health professionals that enables the curation, recording and reproducing a person’s life story and essential information. It can be accessed and used in multiple ways to give families and medical staff the ability to capture a person’s legacy and enables future memory recall and cognition. By having an intuitive and easily accessible technology to dramatically improve this traditionally laborious and time intensive process is invaluable from an individual, community and organisational perspective. As such, the interface designs needed to be simple across the board, applicable to multiple digital environments whether it be for businesses or families. The design and testing over 18 months has delivered a responsive, trainable and flexible interface to suit many use cases.