Primer: ASU helping to develop personalized AI tool

Arizona State University is helping to develop a new personalized AI tool.

The tool is called Primer, and the people behind it believe its capabilities are endless.

"We are calling this a personal growth engine," said Dr. Mark Naufel, Primer's founder and Executive Director of ASU's Luminosity Lab. "We think it’s this whole new thing. When people see it, it should be different from anything they’ve experienced before."

Primer is described as an AI personal companion that stems from one of the first projected started at ASU’s Luminosity Lab. Now, Primer is its own venture.

"For the first time ever, we’re able to scale the ability, through AI, to give everyone a world-class coach, mentor, tutor, and friend," said Naufel.

At first glance, an AI tool giving the user personalized learning and growth appears impossible. Dr. Naufel, however, begs to differ.

"As weird as it sounds, it will feel like primer knows you," said Dr. Naufel. "It cares about you. It’s trained to be a moral, ethical guide in your life."

Dr. Naufel said he realizes there will be critics to the endeavor.

"I recognize, probably a little scary right? An AI companion that knows you, persists with you? And I get that," said Dr. Naufel.

Dr. Naufel took some time to address some of the concerns over Primer.

"It will only learn things you decide to tell it about you," said Dr. Naufel. "We want to be really protective of people’s data. People can also sign up with an anonymous username too, because it's an inward-facing tool. You’re not chatting with the other users, just the AI."

The potential of this technology, according to Dr. Naufel, is enormous.

"It’s able to help you across everything, around your personal growth and well-being, your productivity, your health, and mental wellness, and your educational endeavors," said Dr. Naufel.

Primer, Dr. Naufel said, is also catered to a user’s language, culture and age. Beta testing of the product is set to kick off in just a few weeks.

"We really hope to turn this into something that will change lives of people throughout the world," said Dr. Naufel. "We’re excited to put something out, we think now is the right time, that it is a useful tool."

ASU Luminosity Lab