Researchers hope voice assistants can spot signs of dementia


An effort to use voice-assistant devices like Amazon's Alexa to detect signs of memory problems in people has gotten a boost with a grant from the federal government. Researchers from Dartmouth-Hitchcock and the University of Massachusetts Boston will get a four-year $1.2 million grant from the National Institute on Aging. The team hopes to develop a system that would use machine and deep learning techniques to detect changes in speech patterns to determine if someone is a risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer's. "We are tackling a significant and complicated data-science question: whether the collection of long-term speech patterns of individuals at home will enable us to develop new speech-analysis methods for early detection of this challenging disease," Xiaohui Liang, an assistant professor of computer science from the University of Massachusetts Boston, said in a statement. "Our team envisions that the changes in the speech patterns of individuals using the voice assistant systems may be sensitive to their decline in memory and function over time."

Cognitive Assessment Estimation from Behavioral Responses in Emotional Faces Evaluation Task -- AI Regression Approach for Dementia Onset Prediction in Aging Societies Machine Learning

We present a practical health-theme machine learning (ML) application concerning `AI for social good' domain for `Producing Good Outcomes' track. In particular, the solution is concerning the problem of a potential elderly adult dementia onset prediction in aging societies. The paper discusses our attempt and encouraging preliminary study results of behavioral responses analysis in a working memory-based emotional evaluation experiment. We focus on the development of digital biomarkers for dementia progress detection and monitoring. We present a behavioral data collection concept for a subsequent AI-based application together with a range of regression encouraging results of Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) scores in the leave-one-subject-out cross-validation setup. The regressor input variables include experimental subject's emotional valence and arousal recognition responses, as well as reaction times, together with self-reported education levels and ages, obtained from a group of twenty older adults taking part in the reported data collection project. The presented results showcase the potential social benefits of artificial intelligence application for elderly and establish a step forward to develop ML approaches, for the subsequent application of simple behavioral objective testing for dementia onset diagnostics replacing subjective MoCA.

Solving Large Scale Phylogenetic Problems using DCM2

AAAI Conferences

Tandy J. Warnow Department of Computer Science University of Arizona Tucson AZ USA email: tandy cs, arizona, edu Abstract In an earlier paper, we described a new method for phylogenetic tree reconstruction called the Disk Covering Method, or DCM. This is a general method which can be used with an)' existing phylogenetic method in order to improve its performance, lCre showed analytically and experimentally that when DCM is used in conjunction with polynomial time distance-based methods, it improves the accuracy of the trees reconstructed. In this paper, we discuss a variant on DCM, that we call DCM2. DCM2 is designed to be used with phylogenetic methods whose objective is the solution of NPhard optimization problems. We also motivate the need for solutions to NPhard optimization problems by showing that on some very large and important datasets, the most popular (and presumably best performing) polynomial time distance methods have poor accuracy. Introduction 118 HUSON The accurate recovery of the phylogenetic branching order from molecular sequence data is fundamental to many problems in biology. Multiple sequence alignment, gene function prediction, protein structure, and drug design all depend on phylogenetic inference. Although many methods exist for the inference of phylogenetic trees, biologists who specialize in systematics typically compute Maximum Parsimony (MP) or Maximum Likelihood (ML) trees because they are thought to be the best predictors of accurate branching order. Unfortunately, MP and ML optimization problems are NPhard, and typical heuristics use hill-climbing techniques to search through an exponentially large space. When large numbers of taxa are involved, the computational cost of MP and ML methods is so great that it may take years of computation for a local minimum to be obtained on a single dataset (Chase et al. 1993; Rice, Donoghue, & Olmstead 1997). It is because of this computational cost that many biologists resort to distance-based calculations, such as Neighbor-Joining (NJ) (Saitou & Nei 1987), even though these may poor accuracy when the diameter of the tree is large (Huson et al. 1998). As DNA sequencing methods advance, large, divergent, biological datasets are becoming commonplace. For example, the February, 1999 issue of Molecular Biology and Evolution contained five distinct datascts of more than 50 taxa, and two others that had been pruned below that.

A rational decision making framework for inhibitory control

Neural Information Processing Systems

Intelligent agents are often faced with the need to choose actions with uncertain consequences, and to modify those actions according to ongoing sensory processing and changing task demands. The requisite ability to dynamically modify or cancel planned actions is known as inhibitory control in psychology. We formalize inhibitory control as a rational decision-making problem, and apply to it to the classical stop-signal task. Using Bayesian inference and stochastic control tools, we show that the optimal policy systematically depends on various parameters of the problem, such as the relative costs of different action choices, the noise level of sensory inputs, and the dynamics of changing environmental demands. Our normative model accounts for a range of behavioral data in humans and animals in the stop-signal task, suggesting that the brain implements statistically optimal, dynamically adaptive, and reward-sensitive decision-making in the context of inhibitory control problems.

Partially Observed Dynamic Tensor Response Regression Machine Learning

In modern data science, dynamic tensor data is prevailing in numerous applications. An important task is to characterize the relationship between such dynamic tensor and external covariates. However, the tensor data is often only partially observed, rendering many existing methods inapplicable. In this article, we develop a regression model with partially observed dynamic tensor as the response and external covariates as the predictor. We introduce the low-rank, sparsity and fusion structures on the regression coefficient tensor, and consider a loss function projected over the observed entries. We develop an efficient non-convex alternating updating algorithm, and derive the finite-sample error bound of the actual estimator from each step of our optimization algorithm. Unobserved entries in tensor response have imposed serious challenges. As a result, our proposal differs considerably in terms of estimation algorithm, regularity conditions, as well as theoretical properties, compared to the existing tensor completion or tensor response regression solutions. We illustrate the efficacy of our proposed method using simulations, and two real applications, a neuroimaging dementia study and a digital advertising study.