As society becomes increasingly digital, older people across the South West have been faced with the growing prospect of isolation and exclusion. The growth in the digital sector has also led in the past to younger people feeling they may need to leave the region in search of work in the industry.
Now a new initiative is looking to address both challenges by finding ways of engaging older generations with digital content – and encouraging younger generations to create it.
It will recruit 80 older and 40 younger people, who will work with researchers to develop novel technologies that will help participants connect with their community and the cultural landscapes in the region.
It will enable those unable to leave their homes, or those without regular access to public and other forms of transport, to visit sites of interest digitally.
And for those without broadband, it will provide telephone access by AI voice interface to online resources such as museums and community groups.
The project will also establish a social enterprise that will ensure the technology development and implementation is carried forward, and also ensure that younger people continue to be engaged in this digital development.