Founded in 1996 and headquartered just outside of Chicago, Clover Imaging Group is the largest collector and remanufacturer of printer cartridges in the world. With a business model centered around sustainable innovation, Clover’s high quality, environmentally friendly remanufactured cartridges enable organizations to lower their printing costs while reducing environmental impact.
Clover Imaging Group sought to develop a best-in-class work environment for its warehouses globally. The idea was to optimize the picking experience for warehouse workers by providing instructions on where they should go, when, and how, augmenting it with quality control, location awareness, and easy scanning capabilities.
Then, an idea sparked. What if AI for Good technologies could enhance job opportunities for cognitively disabled job seekers? Today in the United States, one in four adults has a disability, unemployment is twice as high for individuals with disabilities and the majority of jobs underutilize skills.
The work that followed would permanently enhance workplace opportunities for cognitively disabled job seekers globally.
To bring the concept to reality, Clover Imaging Group partnered with Concurrency to build a mixed reality platform leveraging a multi-component, hand-attached scanner, headset and visual and audio input. The solution leverages Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services, Azure ML, Azure SQL, Azure Speech and location awareness.
Conversational AI technology combined with mixed reality creates a virtual guide to help individuals with cognitive disabilities perform a job and a series of tasks that they might not otherwise be able to complete on their own.
The solution provides a warehouse worker with instructions on where they should go, when and how. Once the warehouse worker arrives at the instructed location, further instruction is provided on how many items to pick. Following completion of an assigned task, the AI-enabled audio assistant asks the warehouse worker if he or she wishes to continue with picking the next item and so on, and so forth.
Clover Imaging Group and Concurrency partnered with Gigi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Centers to test the technology among individuals with cognitive disabilities, and success! It was a breakthrough moment proving that the mixed reality platform leveraging Microsoft AI technologies would enhance workplace opportunities among job seekers with cognitive disabilities.
“Only a fraction of job-seeking individuals with cognitive disabilities are employed. We’re leveraging AI technologies for good to provide employment opportunities for these individuals and the impact is incredible,” states Concurrency Chief Technology Officer Nathan Lasnoski.
This AI for Good solution is available as open source in order to increase its impact for good. Companies across industries and across the globe can leverage this AI for Good solution to positively impact job opportunities for individuals with cognitive disabilities. Organizations will also benefit by having a larger base of potential employees to hire from, and the work serves as a powerful example of how AI can enhance human capability. Learn more at aitechnologyforgood.com.