Robots gain empathy skills thanks to Ontario Tech team and international intern

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If, for example, a panicked person shouts for help, Zenbo may suggest calling 9-1-1 because it understands the underlying need for emergency assistance. This sort of empathic response could make robots an important companion in care homes, hospitals, and at home.

Brain Drain got you down? Try Brain Retain

With one in four recent Canadian STEM graduates leaving the country, citing better job opportunities abroad*, talent migration affects us all. A shortage of talent in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math constrains Canada’s potential for economic diversity, development, and innovation.

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) may have found a solution to Canadian brain drain. Its research and development unit, Borealis AI, supports innovation through scientific study and exploration in machine learning and artificial intelligence.

High-tech partnership explores human perceptions of chatbots

 

“We wanted to understand what people’s reactions to a bot might be in different types of workplace situations,” says Julia. “Will people trust the system the same way they trust a person? What kinds of challenges or barriers might arise when implementing chatbots as a tool in the workplace?”

New AI-based video system helps seniors stay safe and independent

The new tool uses a deep-learning computer vision system and motion-classification algorithms to capture events such as falls in real time, alert caregivers and give health-care professionals the information they need for immediate triage.

The system—developed in part by the Multimedia Research Centre led by Irene Cheng in the Department of Computing Science—transfers real-time video to an autonomous computer vision lockbox. If an event is detected, the system alerts a specified caregiver and provides a redacted video of the event.

Computer co-pilot helps you navigate changing streets

Now, one Mitacs intern is searching for a solution. Arvind Srinivasan is researching an algorithm that will integrate real-time changes into existing mapping programs. The new algorithm allows the app to seamlessly adjust your route — without interrupting the navigation. Normally, unexpected changes to the map require more processing power to integrate. The resulting algorithm is slower and less useful as a navigation tool.

New app creates shared experiences for friends and family

The app will use audio stories, such as podcasts, to enable users to communicate and feel as if they are doing the same activity at the same time, even though the activity might be taking place at different times in different places. For example, a mother and daughter living in different cities can hike together, with the mother initiating the story during her earlier hike and the daughter able to listen to her mother’s account while she herself goes for a hike.

Immersing wastewater treatment in digital models

This summer, Nathalia Soares Covre, a Mitacs intern from Brazil, is helping the modelEAU team develop a digital model of an innovative wastewater treatment process. This new process reduces the discharge of nitrogen into lakes and rivers so that plant operators can work to reduce the impact of urban wastewater on local ecosystems.

Construction planning gets new eyes on the road

Wendlasida Ouedraogo is part of a research team at École Polytechnique de Montréal that is developing the next generation of computer vision software, which automates visual tasks, to help civil engineers and city planners get ahead of construction demand.

Mystery or romance? How Big Data can help you pick your next book

Kobo’s Big Data Director Darius Braziunas says he knew early on that to stay competitive in the e-book world Kobo would need to collaborate with university researchers to take their products to the next level.

New video game helps kids fight online dangers

Sana Maqsood, a PhD student at Carleton University, wants to educate young internet users on how to stay safe in the online world. Through Mitacs’ internship program, Sana is working with MediaSmarts — a local not-for-profit organization that promotes digital literacy among youth — to create a video game that helps players combat the risks found in cyberspace.

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