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AI app for migrants wins prestigious design award

26 March 20240 comments

An artificial intelligence app that helps migrants and refugees improve their English has won the Digital Design Category of the Victorian Premier’s Design Awards 2023.

The MyAMES Chat app, built in partnership with AI developer GetMee, has a particular focus on helping newly arrived people achieve their employment goals and to resume their professional careers more quickly.

And it is part of AMES’ over-arching mission to support migrants and refugees to find full places in our society.

The achievement highlights the exemplary work the MyAMES Chat team has put into the development of the app, which is now garnering attention as one of the most innovative applications with significant social impacts in the field of English Education.

The awards ceremony heard that GetMee and MyAMES Chat is the world’s first communication and employability coach powered by Artificial Intelligence.

The award citation read: “GetMee is an innovative AI-powered app for educators, enterprises, and government sectors, revolutionising employability and communication. GetMee’s groundbreaking design improves the English language by blending traditional teaching methods and personalised digital AI coaching technology.

“GetMee democratises the employability market by giving users access to AI-powered communication coaching, empowering social mobility and driving improved employability.

“Since being a Victorian Premier design finalist in 2022, The Minister for Immigration the Hon. Andrew Giles said GetMee’s initiative aligned with the federal government’s vision of ensuring migrants and refugees could realise their full aspirations for life in Australia,” the citation said.

AMES Australia CEO Cath Scarth said the afforded added flexibility to newly arrived migrants and refugees studying English.

“It augments the support they get from the AMES Australia Skilled Professional Migrant Program (SPMP) teachers. It means they can study in their own time and at their own convenience. It will also help them acquire digital skills.

“The app will help the students find work commensurate with their skills and qualifications more quickly. This will produce a dividend for the broader economy, which is currently suffering from a skills shortage.

“The app is an extension of work we have been doing over many years in supporting newly arrived migrants and refugees re-establish their professional careers in Australia.

“Our Skilled Professional Migrant Program has been assisting professionals from overseas to find pathways to jobs that are commensurate with their qualifications and experience through coaching and career counselling was well as through networking and mentoring opportunities,” Ms Scarth said.

GetMee founder Balendran Thavarajah arrived in Australia in 2000 penniless and unable to speak English.

Twenty-two years on, he is a successful tech entrepreneur who has founded multiple companies employing dozens of people.

“I saw people here in Australia going through the same struggles I did, learning about a new country, culture and language. And I thought about ‘how could I automate some of these processes through AI?’,” Balendran said.

“That was the beginnings of ‘GetMee’. We built a prototype to help us understand patterns in someone’s communication.

“The idea was to bring the awareness to the surface so people could get insights into gaps in their communication skillsets, then coach them into better communicators,” he said.

Migrant and MyAMES Chat user Anh Booth said using the app had helped her gain employment.

“Being able to practice the language used in job interviews through the app was really valuable in finding work,” she said.

The awards are an opportunity to highlight and celebrate local design capability.

They are also an opportunity for businesses and the community to better understand the role of design in creating functional, safe and efficient, products, services and spaces. They also showcase the depth of design talent in Victoria and the capability and capacity of the Victorian design industry.