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Autonomous Vehicles, New Mobility & the Built Environment CES2024

Breaking Down Barriers & Making Connections through Open Source Human Augmentation

Restoring a person’s ability to communicate, move, and retain a level of independence is what the Scott-Morgan Foundation demonstrates in the above video. This open-source solution is modular allowing it to be customized to meet the needs of the individual.

The avatar of Erin Taylor, a 24-year-old woman recently diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), introduces the above video. The demonstration highlights this Scott-Morgan Foundation-led effort to preserve Taylor’s voice, personality, and physical mannerisms.

This is another milestone in a journey started in 2017 by the organization’s namesake, Peter Scott-Morgan. Scott-Morgan, also known as the human cyborg, augmented the abilities he lost to Motor Neurone Disease with software, electronics, and robotics.

Rapid Advancements Continue #

With the rise of Generative AI and the continuing advancement of robotics, it is easier and cheaper than ever to preserve a person’s voice, allow them to engage in real-time conversations, or navigate a self-driving wheelchair through eye movements.

Self-driving wheelchairs promise safety improvements. This article indicates that there are 100k annual visits to the emergency room due to wheelchair accidents. This is out of a population of approximately 3 million wheelchair users.

In an email exchange, LaVonne Roberts, Executive Director of the Scott-Morgan Foundation indicates, that since CES, they have additional partnerships and options for regenerating a person’s voice. She writes that the quality is better than the voice of Erin’s avatar in the above video.

Plus, it no longer requires a studio recording to capture the voice. A smartphone or a short social media video can provide the quality necessary to train the generative AI model.

An Open Source Village #

The Scott-Morgan Foundation is a focal point to advance the work of Peter Scott-Morgan. The open-source approach brings together a variety of technologies and expertise to create something greater than the sum of the parts. The modular approach promises the best solution for a given individual.

Participants in the demonstration at the Showstoppers CES  event include:

  • Hyper-realistic, AI-powered avatar from DeepBrain AI and Lenovo
  • On-device, personal LLM for predictive, generative AI from Lenovo
  • Eye-gaze tracking and AAC communication platform converging multimodal inputs, including eye tracking, ear, tongue, and wheelchair controls from IRISBOND
  • Smart independent mobility platform from LUCI Mobility
  • Circular keyboard interface from The Scott-Morgan Foundation
  • In-ear biometric control technology from EarSwitch
  • Tongue-operated, hands-free touchpad from Augmental

Author Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

By Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

Ken Pyle is Marketing Director for the Broadband Forum. The mission of this 25+-year-old non-profit “is to unlock the potential for new markets and profitable revenue growth by leveraging new technologies and standards in the home, intelligent small business, and multi-user infrastructure of the broadband network.”

He is also co-founder of Viodi, LLC and Managing Editor of the Viodi View, a publication focused on the rural broadband ecosystem, autonomous vehicles, and electric aviation. He has edited and produced numerous multimedia projects for NTCA, US Telecom and Viodi. Pyle is the producer of Viodi’s Local Content Workshop, the Video Production Crash Course at NAB, as well as ViodiTV. He has been intimately involved in Viodi’s consulting projects and has created processes for clients to use for their PPV and VOD operations, as well authored reports on the independent telco market.

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