Digital assistant
that puts your privacy first.

Research – Concept


As designers, we are devoted to our craft, always striving to create something of perfection, impeccable, flawless. That being said, everything ever designed have traces of our humanity on them, and we ourselves are not without flaws, and are far from perfect. This thinking led me to question:

What if we design an AI that is characteristically flawed?

What if that very flaw can be used for good?

How will it change our expectations of current and future AI?







Problem Space Synthesis


I started noticing since the day I began work for a client whose specializes in hair growth products, I would get more specific and targeted ads from them, their competitors, and a bunch of also-rans. These ads followed me around the web and embedded themselves deep into my social media feeds.

Guess what the problem is.
I don’t have male pattern baldness. Well, at least not yet.

Curious, I asked friends and family if they’ve experienced similar issues.


I was looking on the Hermes website for a handbag but did not finish checkout. Came back to my Facebook feed and - voilà - ads plastered everywhere for Hermes handbags.

— Ana M.

Inferences, recommendations and suggestions made by machines (you looked for, or saw, or bought this, so you must also like these) are prone to bias and errors.

— Maggie H.

In a way, targeted ads feel creepier than just normal ads. It made me self-conscious about what I'm looking at online, knowing that someone, or something, is always watching.

— Daniel H.

My son gave us an Alexa as a gift. We kept her in the kitchen because we might want to use it to order things but we didn’t want her to listen in on everything. It’s kinda ironic, right?

— Cheryl D.


Smart devices & Privacy

Privacy is becoming more and more of a pressing matter when it comes to smart devices, users expect certain levels of discretion that is not yet found in existing products on the market.

I sat down with Michelle, a brilliant attorney and tech enthusiast, whom I'd known from a Intellectual Property Law course. We discussed how people value their privacy today, and for the futures to come.


Michelle Katz

Attorney & Advisor |

When it comes to digital assistants, trust comes before proficiency.


When the return is favorable enough, people are willing to delegate their privacy.


Institutions should be put in place to manage expectations of privacy.


AI that is highly sentient, anticipatory, predictive, a true know-it-all


AI that would simply, forget.

Meet Dory

Your ultimate personal confidant.

An AI that lives atop your smart home devices and on your phone, Dory springs into action when you say the keywords ‘Hey Dory’ or perform a set gesture on your phone (such as a wink)

keyboard_arrow_up Say ‘Hey Dory’

Message privately with Dory keyboard_arrow_down

For the curious.

Hey Dory

What are the President's nicknames?

Cheeto Benito. 😜


For the discreet.

Hey Dory

Remove all searches for “stress-induced weight gain.”

Searches removed. ✨


For pleasant surprises.

Hey Dory

Find me a getaway place for the weekend.

How many are coming?

Just me & the missus.

Here's what I found.

2-Night Yurt Glamping

Big Sur, CA
$199 p.p

Looks amazing!

Can you book & keep it a secret?

Got it. 🛎️

Be sure to pack your bags on Friday.

Thanks Dory!

Be you.

A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.
— Jim Morrison

I designed Dory with only one thing in mind — you. Because I believe in our differences as much as I believe in the things we share, our similarities. Because only in differences would we find conflicts and the opportunity for reconciliation, for mutual growth. And because when I make sure that you are not being persecuted by others for your differences, I know in my heart that it is ok for me to be different, too.

How it works

Dory is discreet by design.


User Recognition identifies users by their voices, in addition to other means of security, and allows for Dory’s Privacy API to safely execute.


Privacy API makes the proper privacy assumptions based on the user query, and the service chosen, bundling them together for processing.

Example: playing an episode on Netflix without leaving a trace.


Hey Dory

Play the latest episode of Game of Thrones.

Playing ‘Mother’s Mercy’ on Living Room TV.

Stand by

hearing Listen for request

search Find object
‘Game of Thrones’

Found object movie_filter.
Start playing on Netflix

After item finishes playing, set its status to ‘visibility_off Unwatched’


Dory’s Privacy API is compatible with many apps and services that you already know and love.


Google Chrome







“Search using incognito mode”

“Visit website, then erase cookie”

“Clear all browser cache”

“Play movie, then remove from played list”

“Play music, then remove from play history”

“Privately subscribe to an artist”

“Make a purchase in private”

“Redirect order confirmation email”

“Reserve a table privately”

“Reserve an airbnb privately”

“Set a private reminder”


Dory’s privacy and preferences management features play well with major online advertisers and retailers.



via My Activity