Global independent digital creative agency AnalogFolk is launching BigUp.AI 2.0, a more powerful version of the AI tool that’s been under beta-testing in the creative community for eight months.
It’s an example of future-focused technology that helps tackle bigger societal issues – in this case, women habitually playing down their successes.
A leading female director at Nasa, a cognitive behavioural specialist, a young person leaving full time education, a woman in full time employment, a recruitment consultant and a female entrepreneur have all responded to the tool.
BigUp.AI 2.0 is created by a female-led team at digital innovation specialist agency, AnalogFolk. The not-for-profit tool helps women to self-promote with impact. It encourages them to describe their skills, values and strengths more confidently and to reconsider the language they use to talk about themselves professionally.
AnalogFolk launched the beta version to coincide with International Women’s Day 2020, and thanks to the women who have used and trained it so far, phase two is now ready with an even smarter AI and a brand-new look. It’s a timely reminder for women to own their self-worth, as the coronavirus pandemic affects our confidence, job security and mental health.
Anna-Louise Gladwell, managing director of AnalogFolk’s London office - who has led the tool’s development - said: “Since we started beta-testing BigUp.AI earlier this year, we’ve faced a pandemic of global scale that’s made people feel incredibly small. Being at home without work, or consistently applying and getting turned down, makes it easy for women to lose touch with their self-worth. And for those in work, struggling with work/life balance and fearing their voice is being lost can lead to anxiety and burnout.
“Covid-19 has exacerbated a systemic social issue of female confidence, self-promotion and career advancement. So BigUp.AI is here to remind women of their value and help them find the words to express it.”
Sara Pouri, creative director, AnalogFolk added: “How we say something can have a greater impact than what we say, particularly when it comes to communicating ideas or negotiating. If we talk down our capabilities, we put ourselves at a disadvantage when it comes to pay rises, promotions and getting credit for our hard work. Modesty just isn’t the best policy, yet it’s often so ingrained in women, we don’t realise when we’re doing ourselves a disservice. BigUp.AI helps women recognise when they need to stand tall and tell the world how great they are by giving them the language to do so.”
BigUp.AI makes improving a professional bio uplifting and fun. And 2.0 has bold, disruptive new visuals that reflect the tool’s mission to shake up societal expectations and empower women with technology. There are high-contrast colours, digital textures and reactive stickers to cheer the user on. It’s incredibly easy to use and provides impactful sentences in seconds. Users are asked, ‘Tell us about a strength?’, with some examples to get them started. Their strength is ‘bigged up’ with more confident, assertive language, and a more powerful option is displayed every time they press the ‘Go bigger!’ button.
AnalogFolk has developed a suite of inspirational quote posts to motivate professionals and build up their confidence at a time when they need it more than ever. The quotes are an unexpected take on a popular social content style, covering topics like job rejection and Covid-induced burnout – ultimately though, all with a positive message. They’re being posted throughout the week across AnalogFolk’s social channels and afterwards the full set will be accessible on its Pinterest board.
BigUp.AI is powered by Microsoft LUIS Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning technology. The improved AI for version 2.0 can read and analyse full sentences, instead of a single word, to reflect how people naturally express themselves. It identifies skills and suggests how to express them in an assertive, persuasive way. The AI was trained using skills found on real CVs and by users in beta stage to build up a broad bank of strengths.
The tool is a response to research from Dr Judith Baxter, published in The Language of Female Leadership. Dr Baxter states women are four times more likely to shrink their successes and use language that undermines value and skill. In comparison, men are twice as likely to emphasise their successes and leadership. A study from MajorPlayers has shown this lack of self-promotion and confidence is linked to a host of negative outcomes such as fewer promotions, less pay, less acceptance of women’s ideas and unrepresentative performance reviews. With BigUp.AI, AnalogFolk wanted to change this narrative.
Rhiannon Blackley, a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist said: “The Covid-19 landscape has had a huge impact on women’s professional lives. And it’s only amplified an existing issue of women lacking self-confidence. BigUp.AI is a really smart tool as it works on several levels. One thing really impactful about the tool is that once you've used it you do become more continuously aware of the language you're using and are more conscious of the need to use more confident and assertive language day to day.”
Eve Wallis, a woman who recently graduated said: “I normally hate ‘bigging myself up’. And I’ve had to do a lot of it since I graduated this summer in graphic design – junior roles are really competitive right now. BigUp.AI is a super-helpful tool that I’ll definitely use in my job search. But it’s also fun, quirky, and brings excitement into something that’s normally very nerve-racking.”
Edwina Dunn, Founder, The Female Lead said: “This new AI tool is a very welcome not-for-profit initiative which helps women to ‘stand tall’ when promoting their work and career. We know how important this is to women if we are to lead society towards equal gender balance.”
This is just the start for BigUp.AI. AnalogFolk has committed its own time, money and resource to developing the tool further and turning it into an app. Over the past year, the agency has doubled its investment in R&D as it continues its push to deliver innovative ideas that create value for people and transform businesses. BigUp.AI is a cross-discipline collaboration and the result of the agency’s continued commitment to its mission to use digital to make the analog world better.
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