How Robots Can Assist Students With Disabilities (New York Times, March 29 2022)

Title: How Robots Can Assist Students With Disabilities - The New York Times

Summary: New tools are using artificial intelligence to assist students with disabilities, namely autism and dyslexia, as well as addressing accessibility for those who are blind or deaf. According to the CDC, 1 in 54 children is diagnosed with autism. Robots work well for their needs because robots “seem humanlike but are nonjudgmental”, according to Brian Scassellati, a professor at Yale University. Research into how perceptions are formed also gave invaluable data for algorithms to interpret speech, gestures and complex cues, allowing for these tools to better aid those with learning disabilities. For untrained human judgment, such cues are difficult to distinguish and classify. AI has also developed to improve visual and auditory accessibility, and its usage is evolving quickly. The ability for AI to detect patterns in large amounts of data is key in the mission to improve education for these students.