Storytelling AI Set to Enhance Confidence in Dementia Patients
AMPER, a storytelling AI project, aiding memory recollection and improving the wellbeing of dementia patients
According to World Health Organisation, Alzheimer’s disease is the most frequent cause of dementia, contributing to up to 70 percent of the world’s dementia cases. On a global basis, approximately, 24 million people are affected, and this number is expected to double every 20 years. So, researchers at the University of Heriot-Watt and the University of Edinburgh developed a storytelling AI companion that will aid in memory recollection, boost confidence, and combat depression in people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.
AI for Dementia Patients
The idea for the Agent-based Memory Prosthesis to Encourage Reminiscing project originated from Dr. Mei Yii Lim. AMPER’s main technological challenge is the development of an agent with a novel human-like autobiographical memory model that tells stories to encourage reminiscing using individualized repositories of life experiences in real-world social contexts.
Memory loss in people with Alzheimer’s disease occurs in reverse chronological order, with pockets of long-term memory remaining accessible even as the disease progresses. While most current rehabilitative care methods focus on physical aids and repetitive reminding techniques, AMPER’s AI-driven user-centered approach will focus on personalized storytelling to help bring a patient’s memories back to the surface.
The project aims to create a meaningful AI technology that is accessible as well as responsive to an individual’s changing needs and experiences.
The project will work with the charity Sporting Memories, which is already involved in reminiscence support, with the NHS Scotland NeuroProgressive and Dementia Network, the University of Edinburgh Centre for Dementia Prevention, and the Latin American Network for Dementia Research, forming its Steering Committee. Craig Ritchie, of the Centre for Dementia Prevention partner, will also bring in Scottish Dementia Research Consortium and Brain Health Scotland as Steering Committee members.
The National Robotarium, a partnership between Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh, is part of the data-driven innovation initiative and is supported by £21 million from the UK Government and £1.4 million from the Scottish Government through the £1.3 billion Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal – a 15-year investment program jointly funded by both governments and regional partners.
AI technology has the potential to play a pivotal role in improving the lives of people living with cognitive diseases. Through projects like AMPER, we’re able to highlight the many ways AI and robotics can both help and improve lives for individuals now and in the future.