"The by-product of that data is how you and I and millions of people know as Waze today: real-time traffic routing." With this first major injection of funding, the three-person Koko team wants to expand its ambitions, and its capabilities, to create a chatbot system that can not only respond to life’s most harrowing questions, but even catch the smaller ticks in our speech—the curt responses when we’re in a hurry or having a bad day, or the casual diction of someone who has nothing better to do than talk to a robot.

It also must reconcile the fact that some of us won’t want to be so intimate with our robotic helpers.

"I don’t have anything to wear for my interview tomorrow and my hair is being stupid." A few minutes later, someone I’ve never met texts back: "It’s ok to look like what u really are." My problem was fake, but the response was articulate, sensitive, and most of all, very Today, the startup is announcing a .5 million Series A round of financing, as well as the expansion its service to Facebook Messenger and the messaging app Telegram.

In the case of test anxiety, Alexa responds with several sentences of encouragement, acknowledging the situation, and putting a positive spin on it, too. Koko estimates it's about six months from launch on the Amazon app, as it hopes to train the machine on more data before it launches the service, enabling the AI to do a majority of the responding (currently, most responses on Kik are by people).

And it’s hard to imagine, even at that point, that Koko’s empathy engine will be developed enough to make the technology worth licensing because it was originally designed to have such specific, emotional problem-oriented conversations.

The car will be printed this September at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago.

In the Philippines, this floating billboard is being used to clean the polluted Pasig river.

The billboard is made from Vetiver, a perennial, non-invasive grass frequently used to treat wastewater and stabilize landfills.

In a system such as this, the Vetiver, which can tolerate nitrates, phosphates and heavy metals, is expected to clean 2 to 8 thousand gallons of water per day.

Indeed, Kelton acknowledges this shortcoming, and likens his company’s strategy and ambitions to that of the app Waze.

"It started as a peer-to-peer app for tracking speed traps on highways," Kelton says.

In one cutting example, writer Sara Wachter-Boettcher pointed out that Siri didn’t understand when she typed "Siri I was raped." acknowledge the emotional needs of someone who complains of being sad (recommending they listen to music, take a walk, or talk to a friend), though she is basically useless when the user expresses stress over a test or the loss of a loved one.