Our inspiration comes from the realization of how challenging it is to source and understand information before investing. There’s so much data available that it’s hard to make the connections on what is relevant and true. To overcome that, we’ve built KOI, a friendly mobile application to invest with purpose and learn at the same time using the newest tech in the market!

What it does

KOI operates as a comprehensive learning and investment platform tailored for young & modern investors. It focuses on connecting new technologies to bridge the gaps in education with the new generations.

At the push of a button, users can interact with KOI's voice assistant, a personal financial mentor designed to enlighten them about diverse topics - from basic financial literacy to intricate stock analysis with ESG components. Users are able to actively engage in conversations with KOI to instigate their curiosity rather than getting an easy answer on their hands.

Besides interacting with your own personal mascot, KOI scans and evaluates news articles to find relevant pieces to present to its users. This functionality focuses on calculating an ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) impact score from 0-10 that the articles have in the market. Not only does KOI give this scale to the user to make their own analysis, but it also explains to you how this score is measured by analyzing the size of the company, the multiplier effect on the article, and much more.

The idea is to teach the reader implicitly so that when they read the news, they can realize this for themselves. We believe understanding the principles of ESG enables users to understand the real-world implications of events and how they relate to their potential investments.

Last but not least, KOI offers an overview of businesses through the sustainability lens, providing a ranking chart of companies evaluated at the S&P500 index based on their ESG fulfillment. By clicking on each company for a deeper analysis, users are introduced to how articles can make an impact in a well-established corporation.

Through these features, KOI empowers people to decipher and use financial information to their advantage. It encourages them to make wise investments that resonate with their values and beliefs and contribute to a sustainable future.

How we built it

KOI was built with a sincere passion for making a difference in the financial market. For our first feature, the voice-enabled AI assistant, we used the Whisper API to collect the message from the user audio and transcribe it into a message. This message was then passed to GPT-4 in order to reply to the user’s inquiry. This reply was then sent to Eleven Labs in order to generate a smooth audio of KOI replying to the user. Both the user audio and the AI are stored in a Google Cloud Storage Bucket to facilitate processing.

The GPT-4 prompt was crafted to be constrained in financial/economics topics and engineered to question the user back. The Voice model from Eleven Labs was chosen so that the user can feel closer to KOI.

For the feature that consumes news feeds and calculates ESG impact scores for each article, our team used News APIs from Aylien and NewsApiOrg in order to find the most recent stories. We then feed these stories back to GPT-4 in order to analyze it in terms of ESG, give it a score, and explain why this score was given. This explanation crafted by the AI is used to point the learners in the right direction when it comes to critical analysis of articles.

Additionally, a significant amount of work went into developing the functionality for the S&P500 companies' ranking. We had to write many different scripts to first get all the companies in the index and then find the closing prices for each stock to cross them together. After that, we left an algorithm analyzing more than 2000 news articles in order to calculate ESG scores. We had to clean a lot of the data because of bad characters, duplicates, and wrong AI pointers. Each company then received an ESG score based on their contributions to the market towards sustainability.

When it comes to user interfacing and experience, KOI utilized Flutter & Dart to build a modern mobile application with state management. For the scenes work, a Flask API in Python was deployed to Google Cloud to handle all server necessities. Photoshop and Illustrator were used for the logos, animations, and designs.

KOI's user-friendly and intuitive interface was meticulously designed with enhancements to simplify the learning process. Our motive was to educate users in the most effortless and engaging way possible. Guiding this design was the incorporation of our friendly KOI mascot,

Challenges we ran into

The Koi fish is celebrated for its perseverance, resilience, strength, and determination to overcome obstacles, just like our mobile app. While we were just developing for the weekend, we faced many obstacles, such as issues with Bad Outputs from Article Feeds & AI assistants, Cloud file storage without saving local copies, fine-tuning the prompt to make our assistant effective, nailing down a good-looking interface that is friendly, and finally crafting that S&P500 ranking based on ESG scores.

Despite the obstacles, we persevered and refined our strategies just like a Koi fish! =D

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Beyond the successful development of the app, our proudest accomplishment is how KOI embodies our vision of nurturing informed investors, promoting sustainable investments, and making financial literacy accessible.

We're proud of how we've integrated advanced technologies into KOI. By merging generative AI and financial analysis, we've created something that simplifies complex financial jargon and promotes inquisitive learning.

The KOI mascot is absolutely one of our favorite accomplishments too! With its friendly and engaging ways, is another accomplishment we're incredibly proud of. This interactive mascot is more than just an attractive feature; it symbolizes our approach to making financial learning more enjoyable.

Finally, something that KOI developers started to value even more is having Balance! We are proud that we were able to build such an application while participating in the meditations from Acendi, taking walks around FIU, participating in other events, sleeping, and enjoying ourselves.

What we learned

We learned to work in harmony with advanced technologies such as GPT-4 generative AI, Whisper API, and Eleven Labs. This was also our first hackathon together, so we learned to work better with each other and support the mistakes and expectations. Finally, we learned about the power of information transformation - how transforming complex financial data using AI into actionable insights can empower individuals to make wise investments. From this, we've learned how technology and financial education can support younger generations in securing a better financial future.

What's next for KOI - Invest & Learn

Just like the Koi fish, we have to be patient and strengthen our cores and balances. Therefore, the next steps for KOI are improving its current capabilities to better support our target audience. We would like to create our own methodology to find ESG impact in the future to provide even better insight to our customers.

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