17 November 2020

Dementia Australia has created an AI avatar designed to teach professional caregivers how to talk to people with dementia. This type of training normally takes place in a classroom setting, but Ted the AI Avatar provides a far more interactive learning experience, allowing students to practice by conversing with him online. The avatar was developed by Deakin University's Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute using Unity, an existing game engine. An actor was used to capture realistic facial expressions and emotions. Launch to market is set for early 2021.

Much like the robot we recently featured that teaches older people in Seoul how to use messaging apps, Ted the AI Avatar creates a safe learning environment in which students can practice without fear of making mistakes, using trial and error until they find the right approach for communicating with those suffering from dementia. Interaction with caregivers is a significant determinant of quality of life, so any improvement in communication has a meaningful impact.  

The possibilities of AI for education are endless, and solutions are increasingly within reach as gaming and virtual reality technologies become easier to build on. Definitely something to look into if you have knowledge to instill :-)


Related: IKEA-style catalog of DIY hacks to create a dementia-friendly home — Singapore murals help people with Alzheimer's find their way

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