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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Artificial intelligence is changing the world

In this blog post Ashley Davis, CTO of Sortal, talks about how AI is changing the world, how we got to this point in time and interesting developments to look out for in the future.

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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A Savage Project and the photographic journey

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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What’s so good about Photography?

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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