Invited talk by Rodney Nielsen.

Title: Spoken-Dialogue Healthcare Companionbots for Elders

Abstract: The percentage of the population over the age of 65 in most developed countries is expected to increase significantly by the year 2030. In the U.S. it will increase by about two thirds, rising from 12 to 20%. With over 50% of hospital patients and 36-50% of healthcare costs attributed to this population, it is critical that we act now to avoid a future healthcare crisis. The Companionbots project is building the framework for perceptive, emotive, spoken-dialogue, companion robots that will proactively monitor, educate, train, motivate and provide therapy to elders. The first part of this talk will discuss Companionbots for Therapeutic Dialogue on Depression. This discussion will emphasize prior and planned research in semi-supervised machine learning algorithms to improve reasoning based on multi-modal input streams including vision, speech, and language. The second part of the talk will discuss the knowledge representation that will be used to construct a user model and track the dialogue history, along with a domain-independent semantic analysis approach to compare the semantics of two utterances in this representation.

Bio: Prof Rodney Nielsen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of North Texas. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2008, where he went on to work as a Research Scientist in the Institute of Cognitive Science and adjunct in the Department of Computer Science. He was also a Research Scientist at Boulder Language Technologies and a Research Collaborator at Mayo Clinic. His research interests include NLP, ML, Cognitive Science and their application to companion healthcare robots for the elderly, educational technology, and health informatics. He has over 50 peer-reviewed research publications, has sat on related advisory boards, expert panels, shared task & workshop organization boards, journal review panels, and numerous conference program committees. In addition to being the PI of federal grants totaling close to $4 million, he was the lead R&D designer and or proposal author of the artificial intelligence component of industrial contracts totaling nearly $8 million, including one which won a AAAI Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence award.

Date / Time: 
Wednesday, 9 July, 2014 - 09:30