Martha E. Pollack
The aging of the world’s population poses a challenge and an opportunity for the design of intelligent technology. This paper focuses on one type of assistive technology, cognitive orthotics, which can help people adapt to cognitive declines and continue satisfactory performance of routine activities, thereby potentially enabling them to remain in their own homes longer. Existing cognitive orthotics mainly provide alarms for prescribed activities at fixed times that are specified in advance. In contrast, we describe Autominder, a system we have designed that uses AI planning and plan management technology to carefully model an individual’s daily plans, attend to and reason about the execution of those plans, and make flexible and adaptive decisions about when it is most appropriate to issue reminders. The paper concentrates on one of Autominder’s three main components, the Plan Manager; other papers in this volume describe its other components.