The winners of Australia's peak industry design awards – the highest honour for design and innovation in the country were announced at The Star, Sydney, on 11 July at the 61st annual Good Design Awards Ceremony.

Sortal received a prestigious Good Design Award Winner Accolade in the Digital Design category in recognition for outstanding design and innovation. Sortal analyses the content and context of images and videos to find very specific concepts, objects and ‘photo facts’. It makes large digital collections highly searchable and discoverable through a trainable personal assistant. 

The annual Good Design Awards is Australia’s most prestigious international Awards for design and innovation with a proud history dating back to 1958. The Awards celebrate the best new products and services on the Australian market, excellence in architectural design, engineering, fashion, digital and communication design and reward emerging areas of design strategy, social impact and design entrepreneurship.

The Good Design Awards Jury spent several days evaluating each entry according to a strict set of design criteria which covers ‘good design’, ‘design innovation’ and ‘design impact’. Projects recognised with a Good Design Award must demonstrate excellence in all areas and convince the Jury they are worthy of recognition.  

Dr. Brandon Gien, CEO of Good Design Australia said: “Receiving a Good Design Award at this level is a significant achievement given the very high calibre of entries received this year.”

“Australia’s Good Design Award is more than a symbol of design excellence, it represents the hard work and dedication towards an innovative outcome that will ultimately improve our quality of life. These projects showcase the brilliance of design and the potential it has to improve our world,” said Dr. Gien.

The Good Design Awards Jury praised Sortal - artificial intelligence to understand human meaning commenting: “ Great value proposition from both an individual and business perspective with very neat AI that gets a lot of contextual and visual labels right. Good, solid design all round. ”

The Good Design Awards attracted a record number of submissions with close to 700 design projects evaluated in this year’s international design awards.

This announcement follows the recent accolades where Sortal was the Queensland merit recipient for the Startup of the Year at the Australian Information Industry Association iAwards for 2019.

A curious intersection between artificial intelligence, photography and dementia

At the heart of Sortal is a passion for people and their stories, told through the emotional connection to images.  It has always been our intention to use our technology to improve the lives of others through social enterprise.

Sortal’s powerful AI technology is put to good use to support individuals, families and carers touched by dementia. This combined with an interactive and engaging interface specifically designed for therapeutic outcomes and memory enhancement provides a tool for clinical application for health professionals working in dementia care.

Dementia is now considered a global pandemic. Every 3 seconds a new case is diagnosed. In Australia, dementia is the second leading cause of death. The challenge of an ageing population where people live longer means more people will be touched by dementia.

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Over the past decade time, resources, energy and investment has been poured into AI by the world’s largest companies and institutions. In case you hadn’t noticed AI is already here. There’s more breakthroughs to come, but we already see the fruits of the revolution before us.

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Creative is not a word that I generally use to describe myself. Yet, one of the most interesting parts of photography to me is the subjectivity. I love that the same photograph can leave two people with completely different impressions and it seems that this subjectivity forces me to get more creative. Creativity is an area that I've always struggled with, not because I don't want it, but because it doesn't seem to come to me as freely as I’d like. As someone who spends their day in a technical profession where every problem has a correct solution, it can be a challenge to produce something that isn't tied to a predefined outcome. Thus my photography forces me to explore the world in a different way.

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For as long as I can remember I have had a camera. My grandmother gave me a 110-film camera when I was very young and I was hooked immediately. I could never snap enough pics of my family and cats and friends.

I often went on weekend kids camps with my church and my mum would buy me a 12 exposure roll of film for the occasion. I loved the anticipation as I waited for her to take them to the chemist for processing, the excitement when she finally collected them, the disappointment when half of them were underexposed or blurry or covered by a finger - and finally the satisfaction when I managed to get a good one.

But why so much emotion over a picture? Why does taking photos still get me excited all these years later? I think it’s a combination of a few things – sometimes familiarity, sometimes the need to document the details and mostly the chase to capture what I like to call the ‘money shot’.

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