Trees App | Behind the Story

“It’s a shame we’re not better at tracking what works for whom.”

Dr. Jonny White, the creator of Trees App, said this during an interview with him. With heavy training in psychology, he noticed guidance and tips don’t always work for everyone. He created the Tree App as a way of helping people through major life decisions and transitions by giving custom-tailored advice through the help of machine learning.

At first, we couldn’t quite grasp exactly what Trees App was. Is it like an Amazon Alexa? A pocket life coach? It’s a little bit of both. After an information-packed interview, and reading back all of our notes on the start-up, we finally got the message on what this intriguing product is.

The algorithm based its guidance on a questionnaire to assess things like personality and habits. Afterward, its machine learning technology evolves to give better solutions after user responses to how successful previous advice was. Every time you interact with the app and give it new info, it learns from you. Basically, it helps you to grow and vice versa.

Interactive creator Anna Howard noticed the “technology they have created is unique and seems like it will be beneficial to all different types of people.”

Machine learning is a relatively new technology, so any other news organizations about it tend to be basic and only at the national level. There was a Mustang News article about a student’s Cal Poly virtual help desk that used machine learning. There was a great Forbes article about existing artificial intelligence self-improvement and psychology. This article really explained the current work in using complex algorithms to help solve human problems.

The videographer for the story, Erica Goynes, commented that “Trees really exemplifies the capabilities of machine learning by integrating a somewhat elusive technology into people’s everyday lives.

Together with Erica, article writer Joey Stephens interviewed Dr. White. Afterward, Joey told me “Jonny is a true visionary and I being able to interview him gave me a new perspective on ways to make people’s lives easier.”

The Trees App is still in its development stages, but we are excited for this product’s future in customizing help to the human experience.