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Design and prototype of a device to engage cognitively disabled older adults in visual artwork

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Tom Bartindale, Dan Jackson, Professor Patrick OlivierORCiD


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We investigate technological solutions for arts therapists who work with older adults with cognitive disabilities, such as Alzheimer's disease. We present ethnographic analysis of a survey of arts therapists in the UK and Canada, and show how there is a need for devices that can be used to promote autonomy and independence through engagement with creative visual arts. We then demonstrate a novel device that uses a touch-screen interface, and artificial intelligence software to monitor and interact with a user. Using a probabilistic model, the device monitors the behaviours of a user as well as aspects of their affective or internal state, including their responsiveness and engagement with the device. The device then uses decision theoretic reasoning to take situated actions that promote engagement from the user. We show how the device fits with the ethnographic design, and we give a laboratory demonstration of the functionality of the device. We present and discuss our next steps with this device, including end user testing. Copyright 2009 ACM.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Blunsden S, Richards B, Bartindale T, Jackson D, Olivier P, Boger J, Mihailidis A, Hoey J

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: ACM International Conference Proceeding Series

Year of Conference: 2009

Pages: 8pp

Publisher: ACM Press


DOI: 10.1145/1579114.1579162

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781605584096