HungryRoot CEO Leverages Generative AI for ‘Every’ App to Encourage Deeper Relationships and Self-Discovery

Grocery startup Hungryroot founder Ben McKean has started a new nonprofit called Every with an eponymous iOS app that employs generative AI with the goal of building self-awareness and strengthening interpersonal relationships through reflective games and insights. Every produces daily “thought-provoking games” aimed at personal growth and finding common ground, an idea that is beginning to draw more interest as generative AI startups continue to mushroom.

AI of Every

“We’ve developed a free, AI-driven platform that guides reflection, builds understanding, and uncovers common ground,” Every executive director Sarah McKean (Ben McKean’s cousin) wrote in a LinkedIn post. “Our app, designed to foster self-awareness and connection, allows users to delve into their beliefs, define their values through engaging games, and share these insights with their network.”

Every uses generative AI models created by OpenAI and Midjourney to automatically generate games inspired by topics and public figures when provided with initial prompts. The process involves crafting games around structured formats and fine-tuning AI outputs. For example, an introductory game has users pick an environment, like a remote island or castle, to explore. Follow-up questions aim to reveal aspirations and values.

The app shows how other users responded and connections who answered similarly to highlight shared perspectives. Every plans to tailor some games around current events. An in-app map utilizes AI to analyze traits based on earned points. The idea is to build self-awareness of attributes like happiness, reason, and creativity. That understanding can then motivate real-world relationship building and help users discover mutual interests or outlooks.

“Over the past couple of years, as I’ve immersed myself in the power of AI through my work at Hungryroot, I’ve begun to think that there is an opportunity to use artificial intelligence to help us connect as humans. We all see and think differently, and AI can help us sort through that complexity,” Ben McKean wrote in a LinkedIn post. “We’ve trained large language models and other generative AI tools to create conversational games ranging in content from fun and lighthearted topics (such as icebreakers) to deep and meaningful topics (such as exploring emotions and purpose). As users play the games, Every surfaces insights and points of commonality. For example, you might find you and your classmate share a love for international travel, your team prioritizes humility in the workplace, or you and your partner both naturally take time to build trust.”

Every shares some similarities with the new generative AI relationship mentoring mobile app Meeno, founded by former Tinder CEO Renate Nyborg. Both founders describe their goal as combatting the public health crisis of loneliness with the aid of generative AI-fueled apps, though in different ways. Meeno is more of a chatbot offering advice on personal and professional connections as opposed to Every’s more gamified approach. Both apps share goals with the “digital companion” Pi released by Inflection AI earlier this year.

“I’m excited to put it out in the world,” Ben McKean wrote. “I’m not sure what will come of it, but I hope it inspires or positively impacts at least some.”

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