89-year-old Japanese coder uses ChatGPT to develop senior-friendly apps

In this post:

  • Tomiji Suzuki, an 89-year-old, developed apps for the elderly in Japan using Chatgpt.
  • He has released 11 free iPhone apps, one of which assists the elderly to remember important things to take with them when going out.
  • Suzuki’s popular apps include Voice Input Assist and Pee Count Record among others.

Tomiji Suzuki, an 89-year-old Japanese retiree, has recently started learning coding and application development. Using ChatGPT, Suzuki created 11 free iPhone applications targeted at Japan’s growing elderly population. 

Also Read: Unveiling ChatGPT: Your Ultimate Guide to Accessing and Maximizing the Potential

His most recent work, the “Outing Prep Voice Slide Show,” is an application that is meant to assist the elderly in remembering some of the important things they need to carry when going out including wallets, hearing aids, and patient registration cards.

Harnessing ChatGPT for AI-assisted app development

The app was inspired by Suzuki’s real-life incident in which he had nearly forgotten his dentures when he was about to board a bullet train. This incident brought to light the problems that are typical for elderly people and spurred him to find solutions. According to Suzuki, age is an asset as it gives him the ability to recognize and meet the specific needs of the elderly population compared to millennial developers.

89-year-old Japanese coder utilizes ChatGPT to develop senior-friendly apps
Source: Tech Xplore

Suzuki had joined the world of application development relatively late in his life after retiring from a career at a trading house. He took a programming course in the early 2010s due to his passion in computing. Suzuki’s breakthrough came when he realized the possibility of creating applications and have them marketed by Apple on a worldwide scale.

For the development of his latest app, Suzuki made use of ChatGPT and asked the AI about 1,000 coding questions. He considers ChatGPT a great teacher and has even written a book on how to learn programming from it. Suzuki recalled that his previous work in trading where he used telegrams to convey brief and specific information was useful when dealing with ChatGPT.

Suzuki develops popular apps with practical uses

Suzuki’s most commonly downloaded app, “Pee Count Record,” caters to the necessity of elderly users in monitoring their urination frequency, particularly in the context of medical treatments. Although there is little to no advertising for this app, it garners approximately 30 downloads per week.

Also Read: UK tech execs push for AI skills and growth measures 

Another interesting app is the “Voice Input Assist,” which is designed for elders who may have difficulties with typing. Suzuki’s elder brother, Kinji, is 92-year-old and he uses this app to send emails frequently. Likewise, the “A-I-U-Be Exercise” app for mouth muscle training is used by Etsunobu Onuki, a 75-year-old hearing aid shop owner. Onuki also mentions that the slideshow app has been useful in reminding him of his keys. 

“I want to recommend this app to my customers, many of whom are in their 70s and 80s and often forget to bring their registration card for the shop.”


Senior programming network promotes AI integration

Suzuki’s involvement is not limited to personal growth; he is a member of the Senior Programming Network (SPN), a national organization for elderly programmers. The SPN, led by Katsushiro Koizumi, supports the use of AI in apps to enable seniors to interact easily. 

Also Read: Governments Ask the Public for Their Opinion on AI

According to Koizumi, AI and seniors have good chemistry, and members are recommended to include generative AI tools in their apps. Suzuki also endorses this because of the possibility of AI making the application more useful for the elderly. He recommends other retirees take up programming as it is fulfilling and enjoyable. 

“If you have nothing to do after retirement, consider exploring this field. You might discover new talents and passions.”


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