Bangalore, May28, 2019: British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations, has announced the development of DARA – India’s first chatbot for creative professionals making them a part of a global creative community.
The digital assistant will help aspiring/emerging Indian creative professionals discover potential international collaborators for their ongoing projects. It will provide them access to greater resources, more networking opportunities and potentially a wider global audience for their work.
DARA is an extension of the British Council’s commitment to democratizing arts and connecting artists from the UK and India. The Council has been at the forefront of creating opportunities for aspiring Indian artists and creative professionals. It acknowledges the importance of technology and the power of the World Wide Web in bringing together artists across geographies.
DARA was the result of an Open Call announced by British Council in 2018. The Open Call invited proposals that leveraged digital technology to facilitate greater collaboration between artists and creative professionals from India and the UK. DARA was one of the proposals, submitted by India-based tech artists – Archana Prasad and Sean Blagsvedt. The project received a grant from British Council for its development along with R&D support from Jaaga.in and mentoring from Microsoft Research India.
DARA has been designed as an intuitive smart assistant, learning and evolving through conversations with the user. Initially, the user will be guided through a series of questions helping DARA learn more about his/her projects and preferences and returning names of potential collaborators or inspirational peers from the international creative community.
Says Archana Prasad, one of the developers of Dara: “We have created Dara with socio-environmental motivations to positively impact the world, and quirky predispositions to not just make her more human, but also give her a sense of purpose. She cares deeply about connecting creative people across borders and believes that the creative sector when willing and able to work openly together, will lead the world in envisioning and manifesting an optimistic future.”
Dara is currently being hosted on its website – https://dara.network as well as available through a dedicated Facebook page – www.facebook.com/dara.network. Not only does Dara connect people who share work interests and motivations with each other, but she also employs a modified personality test on people to match them based on their disposition. The community of Dara is unique and is being built through interesting offline events where people of the community refer the potential members, ensuring quality of the platform.