How Artificial Intelligence Help The Disabled

A few days ago, Google’s Alpha Go, an artificial intelligent Go playing system, had beaten all the top human Go experts, making a 50-match winning streak. This breakthrough means that the AI has acquired a fully functional logical reasoning ability and they could do more in other areas. We all know that the topic of AI is getting increasing hotter and suddenly everyone is talking about it. While a lot of people are holding a belief of AI-threat theory. But AI can help people in various aspects, especially for those with disabilities.

The ways that AI work are very similar to human, which can be utilized to help people who lost part of their functionalities. Following are some new technologies that will greatly improve their life.

1. Automatically Robotic Wheelchair

In 2010, some Japanese researchers developed a kind of robotic wheelchair which can automatically follows a human companion. The wheelchair employs a distance sensor that tracks the position of a companion person, keeping the wheelchair always at the person’s left. What’s more, it also can predict where the person is moving next. The intelligent machine makes decisions about upcoming terrain and objects, avoiding obstacles and dropping into single file if the passage ahead is too narrow or there are lots of people approaching from the opposite direction. With this kind of wheelchair, those who use wheelchairs will benefit a lot. Nowadays, many more functions have been added to the wheelchairs, making the machine more capable and can serve people much better.

2. Self-driving cars

The blind may benefit most from the tech world’s obsession with self-driving cars, not only in being able to use them to get around, but because the artificial intelligence developed for cars — to help them see and navigate streets — will likely be repurposed as assistive technologies. Researchers are now working on smartphone apps which like the navigate systems for self-driving cars. Other researchers are working on the computer vision algorithms that will be able to recognize objects, faces and even a person’s mood — curs that blind people don’t have. With artificial intelligence, blind people will face fewer obstacles in their daily life.

3. Intelligent Learning System

In 2012, researchers in the University of New Mexico published an article describe how they use Artificial Intelligence to help children with learning disabilities. First, they developed some tutoring software for these children. The software can motivate children to learn by using external sensors to monitor learner’s posture, expressions, heart rate, breathing, etc, to emphasize on their thinking process/ability. Second, they introduce robots and humanoids as agents for these children. They found that there was a preference of autistic children to artificial agents rather than human agents, because the artificial agents tend to be more emotionally stable and predictable. Therefore, they successfully designed an interactive robot that prompts kids and adults to the group play and interactions. This kind of machine yielded a great results in engaging child in a group play.

With all types of artificial intelligent systems, the disabled are well equipped to do most of the things as normal people. And thanks to the development of machine translation, my blind grandpa can use the social media to chat with me even if he cannot see the content that I send.