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Hopkins

Hopkins receives grant to use AI to promote healthy aging

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Key Highlights:

  • The National Institute on Aging has awarded Hopkins a $20 million grant to develop AI technologies to improve the care of older adults.
  • The ultimate objective is to utilize this technology to forecast what will happen next based on the behaviors observed by the machine.
  • Over the next several years, the AITC intends to publish its findings and collaborate with other academics to efficiently utilize technology to keep people healthy.

Hopkins granted $20 million to develop AI technologies

The National Institute on Aging has awarded Hopkins a $20 million grant to encourage the development of sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to improve the care of older adults and allow them to live longer lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80 percent of people over the age of 65 have at least one chronic disease, and one-third have limits in regular life activities.

The AI and Technology Collaboratory (AITC), the cooperation of teams from the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Engineering, as well as the Carey Business School, is striving to create artificial intelligence (AI) and technology for healthy aging. As part of the multi-AI multidisciplinary team, Rama Chellappa, a Bloomberg distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering and biomedical engineering, and Dr. Peter Abadir, an associate professor of geriatric medicine and gerontology, will lead the project.

Abadir noted in an interview that the AITC represents an engineering, health-care, and business overlap with eight unique cores.

“Each core has a specific role, but they all work toward the same goal of supporting healthy aging in social, cognitive, and behavioral dimensions,” Abadir explained.

The Networking and Mentoring Core is where Alonzo and Virginia Decker Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship Phillip Phan, who also holds a dual appointment in medicine, acts as the AITC’s connecting tissue with the outside world, distributing information and finances.

The promise of AI technology is a motivating factor that draws the team together. AI is said to be intelligent because the machine can perceive information and derive meaning from data that is similar — if not identical — to information gathered by humans. Using AI to analyze massive data sets to discover how people behave might reflect people’s mental processes and directly demonstrate how the elderly see the world.

“The ultimate objective is to utilize this technology to forecast what will happen next based on the behaviors observed by the machine,” Phan explained. “We have the ability to prevent an event from occurring before it occurs.”

Technology is still in its infancy

Chellappa had similar opinions about the AITC’s potential.

“The exciting part is that our findings can help clinicians utilize the technology as markers for evaluating the progression of age-related disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s, as well as forecasting falls utilizing patterns and behaviors of older persons,” Chellappa said.

This might aid in the prevention of falls in the elderly, which are the greatest cause of permanent damage and death in individuals 65 and over.

However, because AI advancements are more concerned with human behavior than with the technology itself, the team anticipates significant challenges ahead.

Phan stated that the technique for aging research holds a lot of potential for the future.

“Right now, we’re only scratching the surface and the technology is in its infancy,” Phan added.

Over the next several years, the AITC intends to publish its findings and collaborate with other academics to efficiently utilize technology to keep people healthy and happy for longer.

Also read: Next-generation Brain-computer

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TEM

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