Research Projects

Research Circle GraphicAI-CARING is organized around three interconnected research thrusts (RTs), two cross-cutting thrusts (CCs), and one use-inspired research thrust (UIR). All six research efforts are closely intertwined and address complementary goals toward our overall vision of longitudinal collaborative AI systems. 

The foundational research for the AI-CARING Institute is divided into three thrusts. 

  • The Personalized Longitudinal Interaction thrust focuses on modeling the behavior and style of users, to help support them and to detect, and adapt to, changes over time. 
  • The Robust Multiagent Coordination thrust focuses on networked collaboration between AI systems and users, including robust communication. 
  • The Socially-Conscious and Trustworthy AI thrust focuses on modeling trust, acting according to social norms, and behaving transparently. 

Together, the three thrusts combine to develop AI systems that can adapt to both individual users and groups of users, modeling behavior, cooperation strategies, communication, and social norms, and adapting to changes in those aspects over time.

Our two cross-cutting thrusts are synergistic with all of the above listed efforts and include:

  • The Ethics & Trust cross-cutting thrust focuses on identifying ethical and trust related issues emerging from the development, deployment, and use of smart assistants for older adults.
  • The Metrics & Benchmarking cross-cutting thrust focuses on identifying and developing metrics and evaluation methods for interactive AI systems.

All of the above efforts are grounded in our Use-Inspired Research methodology that brings together AI researchers with the stakeholders of our technology – aging adults and their care partners.  

Person in wheelchair controlling vacuum robot

There are more than 54 million older adults aged 65 and older living in the U.S. Approximately 20% of people over 65 have been diagnosed with age-related cognitive decline associated with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), and 33% of MCI patients eventually develop dementia within 5 years. Because MCI patients are not eligible for subsidized care facilities, the burden of care for many individuals falls on their family members. 

Working together with older adults diagnosed with MCI, and their support network of family, friends, community members, and professional healthcare and social service providers, AI-CARING seeks to improve quality of life, increase longevity and independence, provide better opportunities for people with disabilities, and reduce health care costs.