Computer avatars are now able to detect dementia
Publication date: 28 September 2018
A group of researchers from Osaka University and Nara Institute of Science and Technology demonstrated that it was possible to detect dementia from human-agent interaction and conversation.
In previous studies, diagnoses were made using neuropsychological questions, and so habituation to the same questions lowered performance in detecting dementia.
In hospitals, cognitive functon tests are performed, such as Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) along with medical imaging systems. As the population of the world ages, and an increasing number of people develop dementia, easy-to-use dementia tests are sought after.
The team identified a technique using machine-learning, where a machine ‘learns’ characteristics of sounds of elderly people who answer easy questions from an avatar on a computer screen.