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Partnering with the NSF on a research institute for AI to improve care for older adults



From the early days of the internet to the development of the Human Genome Project, U.S. government-funded R&D has yielded remarkable progress for society, and today it is an important engine for AI research. That’s why, last year, we were proud to announce our partnership with the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide $5M to support the establishment of national research institutes working in the area of Human-AI Interaction and Collaboration (HAIC). This partnership—which is part of a more than $300M NSF investment in AI Research Institutes—will create vibrant research centers across the U.S. to advance how people and AI collaborate through speech, text, gestures, and more. It also builds on our partnership with the NSF on next generation networks, and our AI research collaborations with U.S. federal agencies on weather modeling, robust AI systems, whale population monitoring, and more. 

Today, we are delighted to share that NSF has selected the AI Institute for Collaborative Assistance and Responsive Interaction for Networked Groups (AI-CARING) led by Georgia Tech, along with Carnegie Mellon University, Oregon State University, and University of Massachusetts Lowell to receive the $20M AI Institute for HAIC grant. AI-CARING will improve collaboration and communication in caregiving environments for older adults by developing AI systems that adjust to the evolving personal needs and behaviors of those requiring care. With our growing research presence in Atlanta, we’re excited to build on our rich history of collaboration with Georgia Tech and its partners in this effort—most recently supporting some of these universities' work to help vulnerable populations find important information on COVID-19 and monitoring and forecasting disease spread.

With a growing population of older adults in need of caregiving, AI systems can be useful in a variety of contexts, like conversational assistants, health sensing, and improving coordination across the care network. For example, AI can help existing voice assistants better understand people with speech impairments, and can be integrated in home bathrooms to make them more accessible. The AI-CARING Institute will develop assistive AI agents across these types of contexts to help those requiring caregiving to sustain their independence and  improve their quality of life. Additionally, this research will be the product of interdisciplinary teams—with expertise across AI, geriatrics, behavioral sciences, and design—working to ensure that AI is deployed responsibly in this context, with human-centered principles in mind.

Congratulations to the recipient universities of the AI Institute awards and the faculty, listed below. We look forward to learning from the team’s research, sharing our resources and expertise, and building a collaboration to help older adults lead more independent lives and improve the quality of their care.

Recipient university institutions:

  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Oregon State University
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell

Faculty:

  • Sonia Chernova (Georgia Tech) - PI
  • Elizabeth Mynatt (Georgia Tech) - Co-PI
  • Reid Simmons (Carnegie Mellon University) - Co-PI
  • Kagan Tumer (Oregon State University) - Co-PI
  • Holly Yanco (University of Massachusetts Lowell) - Co-PI

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