National Robotarium, hosted by Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh researchers are working on a new artificial intelligence-powered companion that can be used to tell stories to help memory recollection for dementia patients while boosting their confidence.
People with dementia frequently suffer difficulty speaking with others and a loss of confidence, leading to them becoming reclusive or depressed.
Along with memory aid, the artificial intelligence companion can also be used to counter depression in people suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Dr. Mei Yii Lim, a co-investigator of this project, presented the idea of this one-of-a-kind research named Agent-Based Memory Prosthesis to Encore Reminiscing. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council has awarded £450,000 to the team from Heriot-Watt University in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde.
Dr. Lim said, “AMPER will explore the potential for AI to help access an individual’s personal memories residing in the still viable regions of the brain by creating natural, relatable stories.”
Lim further added that these would be adapted to their specific life experiences, age, social environment, and changing requirements to encourage reminiscence.
Most of the traditionally used rehabilitative care approaches focus on physical assistance and repetitive reminder strategies. Whereas AMPER’s artificial intelligence-powered user-centered approach will focus on individualized storytelling to help patients reclaim their memories.
Professor Ruth Aylett from the National Robotarium said that artificial intelligence has the potential to drastically impact the lives of those individuals suffering from cognitive illnesses.
“Our ambition is to develop an AI-driven companion that offers patients and their caregivers a flexible solution to help give an individual a sustained sense of self-worth, social acceptance, and independence,” she added.