Two upcoming ADAPT projects awarded SFI funding: RoomReader and ARK-Virus

08 January 2021

Dublin, 17 December 2020: Congratulations to Prof. Naomi Harte and Prof. Ben Cowan for the successful funding of their project RoomReader from SFI. Currently, when classes take place virtually, teachers cannot see or hear the standard cues that they rely on in an in-person classroom to know when students are engaging. RoomReader is being developed to assist with this issue. It uses artificial intelligence to interpret visual, verbal and non-verbal cues of engagement from a class and interprets live in an online classroom. This project will assist teachers in adapting to an online environment and encourage engagement during online classes.

Prof. Naomi Harte, Associate Professor in Digital Media Systems, Trinity College Dublin School of Engineering, says:

“As a lecturer, a huge concern with online teaching is whether your students are truly engaged in a session. The technology developed in this project will use state of the art multimodal analysis and AI to support teachers live in a classroom, helping them judge how students are getting on, and making up some of the inevitable distance between you and your class.”

Further congratulations to Dr. Rob Brennan and co-PI Prof. Nick McDonald (Centre for Innovative Human Systems, School of Psychology, TCD) who also received SFI funding for the project ARK-Virus. Currently, healthcare and community organisations are finding it difficult to rapidly collect, assess and act effectively upon the changing evidence around using Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). This is made even more challenging as staff are stressed, fatigued and often in unfamiliar roles with limited resources.

In response to this, the ARK-Virus project will use digital technology, mindful risk governance and organisational change management to make it easier for those in healthcare and community settings to monitor and reduce the risks associated with using PPE. The project will roll out initially in St. James’s Hospital before growing into a digitally-supported national community of practise for PPE including Dublin Fire Brigade and Beacon Renal.

As well as Dr. Brennan, ADAPT researchers Dr. Lucy McKenna, Mr. Junli Liang, Ms. Maryam Basereh (D-REAL CRT) and Dr. Julio Hernandez-Tores (EDGE Fellow) are involved in the project.

Dr. Rob Brennan, Assistant Professor and ADAPT Investigator, Dublin City University School of Computing, says:

“This project will enable us to build a broad community around PPE and infection control to help evidence-based best practice to rapidly spread through our healthcare system and communities. Our agenda is supported by digital systems that streamline communication and enhance workers rather than replacing them.”

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