Nov 28, 2022 - Things to Do

How AI-drawn illustrations are teaching kids to read

A page from a Two Tails book featuring Maple, the dog. Courtesy of Two Tails

A page from a Two Tails book featuring Maple, the dog. Courtesy of Two Tails

A child's attachment to their dog can help them learn to read and count.

  • That's the breakthrough idea from Daniel Cohen, the Denver-based entrepreneur behind the startup Two Tails Story Co.

How it works: The company creates personalized alphabet and numbers books that include realistic drawings of the family pet on each page.

  • All it takes is two photos of the dog. Then the funny, colorful illustrations come to life with an artificial intelligence program that creates life-like drawings of the pet and inputs the reader into scenes. Illustrators also review the work.
  • "Every dog [in the book] will look like your dog … that's our value proposition, it's not a cartoon," Cohen says. "It's a hand-drawn sketch of your dog, very similar to if you commissioned something."

The intrigue: Cohen β€” a former real estate company owner β€” moved into the education technology space after the civil unrest in 2020.

  • "The bond between people was just getting thinner and thinner culturally, I was seeing it and feeling it," he says. "I wanted to start a company that used as its core foundational drive the power of … healthy attachment."
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