The AAAI 2002 workshop on
Automation as Caregiver:
The Role of Intelligent Technology in Elder Care

July 29, 2002, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Part of AAAI 2002

Karen Haigh, Honeywell Laboratories
Holly Yanco, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Barry Brumitt, Microsoft Research
Michael Coen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Victor Lesser, University of Massachusetts

Workshop Topic and Issues

An unprecedented boom in the elderly population will hit all industrialized nations and many other countries over the next 30 years. The number of people in the U.S. over the age of 65 will double from 34.7 million now to 69.4 million by 2030 [AOA, 1998].

As the cognitive and physical health of elders begins to deteriorate, they require increasing assistance from caregivers. The strain on families and individuals is enormous--informal caregivers use prescription drugs for depression, anxiety, and insomnia at a rate of two to three times that of the average population [Gallagher et al, 1989].

In many cases, governments, social service organizations and even individuals and families are turning to technological solutions to aid in care giving for this elderly population. While much of this technology continues to occupy traditional assistive roles such as aiding in walking, door opening, and communication, increasingly advanced technological solutions are being proposed to aid in monitoring, diagnosis, situation awareness, decision aiding and the direct automation of tasks for either the elderly themselves or for their caregivers. From the human-factors perspective, failure to consider the humans' needs, desires, capabilities and limitations will lead to unsatisfactory technological solutions at best, and disasters at worst.

By bringing together researchers from robotics, artificial intelligence and human factors, this workshop will help foster a coordinated solution for automation as caregiver for the elderly. We are interested in submissions covering both integrated solutions as well as particular components.

We specifically invite researchers from the following areas:

Specific technologies that support one or more of these areas include robotics, computer vision, speech understanding, knowledge representation, planning, machine learning, situation assessment, task tracking, agents, software architectures and human computer/robot interfaces.


Abstracts for papers are available here. The proceedings can be ordered from AAAI.

Workshop Format

This was one-day workshop with


AOA, 1998.
Administration on Aging, Profile of Older Americans: 1998,
Gallagher, 1989.
Gallagher, D., Rose, J., Rivera, P., Lovett, S., and Thompson, L.W. (1989). Prevalence of Depression in Family Caregivers, The Gerontologist, 29(4):449-456.

Contact Information

Karen Haigh
lastname_firstname at
Honeywell Laboratories
3660 Technology Drive
Minneapolis, MN 55418
Phone: (612)951-7070
Holly Yanco
Computer Science Department
University of Massachusetts Lowell
One University Avenue, Olsen Hall
Lowell, MA 01854
Phone: (978)934-3642
Barry Brumitt
Microsoft Research,
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052
Michael Coen
Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
545 Technology Square, Room 835
Cambridge, MA 02139
Victor Lesser
Computer Science Department
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003

Last modified: August 8, 2002