The following is a contribution to this blog from Parisa Rashidi, Assistant Professor in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. In this blog entry, Dr. Rashidi describes a symposium being held in Arlington, Virginia, November 2-4 2012, titled AI for Gerontechnology, which she is co-chairing.
The aging population, the increasing cost of formal health care, caregiver burden and the importance that older adults place on living independently in their own homes motivate the need for the development of technologies (Gerontechnology) that promote safe independent living. These user-centric technologies need to address various aging related physical and cognitive health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, deterioration of physical function, falling, wandering, strokes, and memory problems, lack of medication adherence, cognitive decline and loneliness. Advances in the sensor and computing technology that allow for ambient unobtrusive and continuous home monitoring have opened new vistas for the development of such technologies.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is central to such systems as it deals with the process of transforming raw sensor data into human interpretable abstractions, innovating new human computer interfaces for the older adults, as well as planning and reasoning in such cases. Rapid strides made in the area of sensor networks and personal devices have made it possible to capture health related data in various forms. Personal devices and wearable sensors such as accelerometers allow us to capture an individual’s activities, while various physiological sensors allow us to record and monitor health related data continuously. AI can help in decision making and analyzing the sheer volume of captured data from a variety of sensing technologies for understanding the physical activities, nighttime behaviors, medication taking, socialization and ongoing physiological changes in the older adults. As the availability of longitudinal data increases, we have an unprecedented opportunity to discover new early predictors of clinically significant events. This is a challenging research area that has seen increasing interest among the research community due to the need of the hour.
A symposium along these lines is being organized as part of the AAAI fall symposium series this fall – to be held November 2-4, 2012 in Arlington, Virginia -titled AI for Gerontechnology. The goal of this symposium is to understand the role of AI in current research through presentation of case studies and work in progress research and to brainstorm novel technologies that can be innovated and improved by AI research. The symposium will bring together researchers working on various artificial intelligence aspects of gerontechnology in order to highlight the current challenges, as well as to identify the future grand challenges. The workshop organizers Parisa Rashidi (Northwestern University), Narayanan Krishnan (Washington State University), Diane Cook (Washington State University), Marjorie Skubic (University of Missouri Columbia) and Alex Mihailidis (University of Toronto), extend their invitation to the community to participate in the symposium.
The symposium also offers “travel funds” for interested students attending US colleges and universities to participate in the symposium. There is “NO need” to be an author to receive the travel fund (any US-based student can apply). Details regarding the application process and requirements can be found at: