If you suffer from dementia and can no longer remember basic things, how will you manage to perform simple tasks? A University of Toronto professor is designing tools that can help. From the University of Toronto Magazine: Home Smart Home.
Mihailidis and his colleagues have built an artificial intelligence system that can recognize when patients need help and prompt them with instructions. Cameras in the ceiling track the user’s movements and behaviour; computer software interprets what the cameras see, detects what kind of help is needed and provides spoken instructions or even video tutorials to prompt the patient to the next action. The software adapts to its user, learning what level of prompting is required. "With one person it can provide a generalized cue, where it would say, ‘Dry your hands,’" says Mihailidis, "whereas another person might require a little more detail, so the prompt may be structured to address the person by name, and play a video that shows the person how to turn the water on or how to use the soap." [continue]
I can picture the future – we’ll all be walking around talking to ourselves on the street (Bluetooth enabled) and disembodied voices will speak to us in our homes. I think the nightmares and demons of the past were tales from time travelers. If only time travel worked that way. Darn physics.
Oh, and welcome back!
They had an interesting couple of interviews on the topic of home robots potentially eventually taking on the role of a limited companion on Science Friday on NPR a few weeks back. Check the podcasts on the iTunes for it. Pretty interesting stuff.