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Mariko, ways of working and developments within Ai

Mariko Ai

Hello there!

I am writing this blog post at your request. My name is Markus Blomqvist and I am the initiator and responsible for the development of Mariko.

Many of you are curious about how we work, and how we will integrate Ai into Mariko.

Many of you have also offered your help in developing Mariko and applied to work with us. This is absolutely wonderful and I wish we could employ all of you :).

However, Mariko is a three-year development project financed by Allmänna Arvsfonden. The project started in 2021 and is run by the Autism & Asperger Association in Stockholm County and
the Civic Innovation association. This means that we have a fixed budget which unfortunately does not allow us to employ more people in the team. However, many of you have chosen to help in various ways on a voluntary basis. You are the best, without you Mariko would not exist.

I have the best job in the world!

As responsible for the development of Mariko, our time is very exciting! Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more and more accessible, knowledge and maturity among people is increasing. Many people would probably say that I'm completely snowed in when it comes to Ai. Well, that's true. 😂 The advent of Ain (funny spelling) has changed the world... Everyone just hasn't realized it yet.

So... what is my focus right now in developing Mariko?

      1. Finalize the Mariko beta and get it out to all of you for testing and feedback.
      2. Explore how we should use Ai in Mariko to make life easier for you as users.
      3. Staying healthy... have been very sick a lot in the last year.

    So, in this post I thought I'd write a bit about how we work and what our plans for Ai are.

    How does the Mariko theme work? 

    We have a fairly strict structure that we follow. The design and development process is based on the "Civic Innovation sprint" and is inspired by, among other things, design thinking, agile development, scrum, GTD, design sprint, lightning decission jam (LDJ), Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS), Non Violent Communication (NVC) and more psychology than there are words for (so you have some references to read more about).

    Some of the organizations that helped us, trained us and inspired us to create the "Civic Innovation sprint" are IDEO, Strategyzer, Aj&Smart, Google, Apple, Post & Telecom Agency, People and Technology AB and others.

    The design and development process starts with:

    1. Identify problems, challenges or opportunities by observing and listening deeply.

    2. Understand the problems, challenges or opportunities identified by digging deep and asking 1000 questions. We understand and clarify feelings, needs and desires. We use tools such as the Empathy Map, customer interviews, a beginners mind (a personal favorite on the subject is: Zen Mind, Beginner's)

    3. Define and prioritize problems/challenges to be addressed. Write and verify a clear problem description.

    4. Idea generation and proposed solutions. In this phase, the focus is on quantity over quality. We want to produce as many different types of ideas and solutions as possible. No right/wrong. We often drink way too much coffee in this phase. 😎.

    5. Design, testing and validating prototypes at different levels.

    6. Technical development, testing and iteration.

    7. Test and iteration continues until Mariko gets the job done 😇
    8. So what does the future use of AI look like for Mariko?


    The question we ask ourselves is:

    How could Ai help our users deal with life's challenges and become more independent?

    With the ever-increasing demands on our attention and time, it is becoming increasingly challenging to stay focused and get things done. 

    Could an Ai help us deal with life's challenges better and more effectively?

    Could an Ai help us organize, plan and prioritize things that are important to us? 

    Could an Ai help us reduce stress and anxiety? Could an Ai help us become more independent?

    These are questions we live with, explore solutions to, and take for granted for Mariko. The question may not be if... but what, why and how they will work for whom.

    Empty heading

    Here are some ways that Ai could be used in Mariko.

    Smart prioritizationOne of the biggest challenges our users have told us about is deciding which activities to do first. AI can help by analyzing the weight, effort, and time of each task and suggesting how they could be prioritized. For example, Mariko can look at your daily schedule and see that you have an important meeting in two hours, and prioritize tasks that need to be completed before that meeting.

    Personal recommendationsAnother way AI could help is by providing personalized recommendations. For example, if you have a lot of meetings scheduled, AI could reschedule some of them on days when you have more time or energy. How? Aim learns what works for you, such as which days are best suited for a certain type of meeting that requires a lot of energy.

    Natural language therapy and language comprehension: AI could support daily routines more easily and intuitively by using natural language processing and understanding (NLP/NLU). Instead of having to navigate through clicking and pointing, you can simply speak or write your requests using "plain language", and the AI will understand and act on them. Simply talk to Mariko. 

    Predictive analysisAI can also use predictive analytics to help you anticipate and plan for future activities. For example, if you have a school project with a set deadline, AI can analyze past work and success patterns and suggest when you need to start working and break down the school project into smaller steps.

    Intelligent automationFinally, AI can help automate repetitive and time-consuming activities. For example, if you receive many emails that require similar responses, AI can suggest and even write responses for you. Similarly, AI can automatically schedule appointments based on your availability and preferences.


    The future is bright for Mariko and how Ai will be able to integrate to make life easier for you.

    By offering smart prioritization, personalized recommendations, natural language processing and understanding, predictive analytics and intelligent automation, AI can help us manage our lives better. As a developer of Mariko, it is my job to create a service that you can and want to use. It's also my responsibility to develop a product that is innovative and sometimes a little outside the box 😉.

    See you later / Markus 


    Do you have something related to Mariko that you would like to share through the blog? Get in touch!

    Contact Mariko