March 31, 2023

This Black Woman’s Audio-First Social App Is Using AI To Make Us Wiser

Wisdom is an audio-first social discovery app fostering deeper connections and lasting friendships between like-minded users.

Founded by British computer science graduate Dayo Akinrinade, Wisdom leverages advanced AI with the power of social audio to make the world a little wiser.

“Wisdom offers women a safe space to converse about topics that matter to them, such as women’s rights, domestic violence, leadership, and wellness,” Akinrinade told Apple

“Our users who don’t identify as women consider themselves allies, and provide support by participating in the conversations or simply listening.”

On Wisdom, users can join live conversations on various topics and ask questions or listen back to them on demand. Anyone can start a talk or engage in Q&A on a topic that matters to them, and it’s free to access.

The power of social audio

Audio is the most human of all mediums, says Akinrinade. Humans have rich oral storytelling traditions dating back ten thousand years, and by avoiding the barriers faced when creating text and video content, Akinrinade argues that audio may be one of the most democratic forms of social communication.

Moreover, audio social communication has been found to have higher empathic accuracy and lends itself to passive consumption.

“We view the Wisdom app as a system of minds, all relating and interrelating to one another in complex ways,” Wisdom’s website reads. “Creativity springs not from any one mind, but from tens of thousands of minds bouncing off each other.”

AI-powered connection 

The platform leverages advanced algorithms and AI to learn users’ interests and values and connect them to like-minded people and thought-provoking content. 

Wisdom is built on an algorithm-friendly design, which looks for conversations that matter to the listener. Despite its TikTok-like algorithms, Akinrinade says Wisdom “seeks a loftier goal” of making users better humans.

“It’s not acceptable to us to create addictions to content that has worse than no merit,” Akinrinade wrote in a Medium post. “Tech companies and their employees need to ask themselves if the end goal of their product makes people’s lives better or worse.”

Wisdom intentionally added friction to the signup process, has 24/7 moderators, and makes it easy to report harmful content, leveraging AI to algorithmically score user-generated content and reduce the probability of posting harmful content.

Akinrinade’s platform uses several different algorithms to surface relevant content and connect users. As more talks are created, the algorithm gets better at surfacing conversations that matter. 

Democratizing access to knowledge

Wisdom aims to become the largest mentorship platform in the world.

Image credit: Wisdom

As such, it is working on 1-on-1 experiences that verified “Top Mentors” will soon be able to monetize directly. At present, top wisdom-sharers can earn Mentorcoin (Wisdom’s new virtual currency), which can be redeemed for gift cards at places like Amazon and Starbucks or donated to charities like Habitat for Humanity and Special Olympics.

TechCrunch also reports that the app includes features intended to help structure talks in a way that makes them accessible to a range of voices — such as a timer to keep conversations moving.

“The mission is to democratize access to mentorship and to democratize access to knowledge,” she told the platform. “I believe that knowledge shouldn’t be a privilege, it should just be a default — a right that anyone can have.”

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Samara Linton

Community Manager at POCIT | Co-editor of The Colour of Madness: Mental Health and Race in Technicolour (2022), and co-author of Diane Abbott: The Authorised Biography (2020)