Assistive Technologies

Intelligent Assistance for People Who Want Help

"We are in the midst of a profound demographic shift, moving from a world in which the majority of the population is relatively young to one in which a significant proportion of people are over the age of 65. This change poses both a challenge and an opportunity for the design of intelligent technology."
- Martha E. Pollack, Intelligent Technology for an Aging Population: The Use of AI to Assist Elders with Cognitive Impairment. In AI Magazine 26(2): Summer 2005

"[T]he current capabilities of many AI systems closely match some of the specialized needs of disabled people.... Fortunately, there is a growing interest in applying the scientific knowledge and engineering experience developed by AI researchers to the domain of assistive technology and in investigating new methods and techniques that are required within the assistive technology domain."
- Bruce G. Buchanan; from his Foreword to Assistive Technology and Artificial Intelligence: Applications in Robotics, User Interfaces and Natural Language Processing

"Researchers in artificial intelligence today are beginning a race to offset an epidemic of age-related memory loss. Barring a cure, 14 million Americans will develop Alzheimer's Disease by 2050, according to the National Institute on Aging. Scientists in the emerging field of assisted cognition are designing AI systems to care for Alzheimer's patient without any direct human assistance." And so begins Mark Baard's June 24, 2002 article for Wired News, AI to Assist Alzheimer's Patients, which is but one of many stories about AI's contribution to assitive technologies. More articles appear below, and still more are just over the horizon . . .

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