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Frank Moss: Tech to Help Those Who Can't Help Themselves

By New Scientist

March 22, 2010

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Frank Moss, head of the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), says there are real opportunities in developing technology for disabled or disadvantaged people, and believes they will translate into great commercial hits.

For example, MIT's Rosalind Picard is creating a system for people with autism that can tell from a person's head movements and facial expressions if they are confused, interested, or disagreeing. The system then feeds the information to a display in the corner of a pair of glasses. "The idea is to supply autistic people with the cues they would otherwise miss," says Moss.

Meanwhile, MIT's Hugh Herr has designed a supportive exoskeleton that enables a person to run with the same energy they would normally use to walk. And MIT research assistant John Moore has built an artificial intelligence system that collects information from a patient and creates a report for the doctor. The patient talks to an avatar, which uses natural language processing to interpret what the patient says.

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