Meet Emily, the bot that helps you talk about your end-of-life wishes​

MERCURY NEWS | Tracy Seipel
LifeFolder excutives Haje Jan Kamps, left, and Colin Liotta, right, have launched a beta-test of a free messenger bot named Emily that helps 25-to-45 year-olds think about preparing important documents related to end of life.
As product launches go, a technology meant to improve the way people think and talk about death may not be the most uplifting, especially when it’s aimed at young and middle-aged adults.

But two Bay Area entrepreneurs are betting that one of the most important discussions 25- to 45-year-olds should be having will be a lot easier via a friendly computer program designed to simulate that conversation online.

Meet Emily, the free messenger chatbot from LifeFolder.

“We did a lot of research speaking to people of all age brackets,’’ said Haje Jan Kamps, co-founder with Colin Liotta of the Oakland-based startup that just launched a public beta test of Emily to consumers.

Not surprisingly, they learned that most people older than 45 tend not to use chatbots in general, while younger folks, Kamps said, “have conversations about everything over texts.’’ LifeFolder is counting on this demographic’s tech-savvy nature, as well as their lifetime benchmarks, to help grow its business.

“If you think about what happens between the ages of 25 and 45, there are big life events,’’ said the 36-year-old Kamps. “People are getting married, they’re buying a house, they’re having kids — all very typical places to start — and then stop to think about, ‘What else do I need to do in my life?’” Continue reading

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