MEMORI-net - Mental and Motor Rehabilitation Network of stroke is a cross-border Italy-Slovenia project, that aims to delineate new common clinical standardised protocols for the rehabilitation of stroke patients with a new Diagnostic, Therapeutic and Care Strategy. In particular, the project will implement the criteria for the evaluation of the deficit in stroke patients and will design new integrated cognitive and motor rehabilitation strategies. An ICT platform will facilitate the cooperation between institutions, stakeholders, and families, also with dedicated training initiatives. With more than 1 million new cases/year incidence, stroke represents one of the most urgent causes of cognitive and motor disability in European countries. Stroke might occur in young productive adults, and therefore it has a profound impact on the health system, families, and the whole local economy.
Technologies have a huge potential to increase access to services. The Internet democratized access to information. Social media democratized access to audiences and communities of interest. Smartphones democratized access to computing and communication resources. Conversely, technology is also a factor of exclusion. Historically, when new technologies emerge, a portion of the population is excluded from access due to the abilities they assume.
A new AI tool can help people with speech difficulties to communicate by reducing the number of keystrokes they need to type. Researchers from the universities of Cambridge and Dundee developed the system for people with motor disabilities, who often use computers with a speech output to communicate. Unfortunately, these tools are generally slow and error-prone. Research shows that people normally type between five and 20 words per minute, but speak between 100 to 140 words per minute. As a result, people who rely on computers to communicate can struggle to have meaningful conversations. The new AI tool helps fill this communication gap by reducing the number of keystrokes they need to communicate.
AI systems are being rapidly integrated into core social domains, informing decisions about who gets resources and opportunity, and who doesn't. These systems, often marketed as smarter, better, and more objective, have been shown repeatedly to produce biased and erroneous outputs. And while much AI bias research and reporting has focused on race and gender, there has been much less attention paid to AI bias and disability. This is a significant omission. Disabled people have been subject to historical and present-day marginalization, much of which has excluded them from access to power, resources, and opportunity.