Sarkar, Anders win inaugural LIVE Spark Grant to use innovative AI technology to advance dementia care

LIVE, the Learning Innovation Incubator at Vanderbilt University, has awarded an inaugural LIVE Spark Grant to a project that leverages AI to aid in the care of people with dementia. It is one of three projects selected from a strong pool of applicants. The winning projects and their investigators show exceptional promise for addressing critical learning challenges and cutting-edge learning technologies to advance dementia care, literacy, and music education.

L-R, Nilanjan Sarkar and Shilo Anders

Preliminary Design of a Generative AI-Based Intelligent Assistant for Dementia Care
Nilanjan Sarkar (Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs David K. Wilson Professor of Engineering and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering)
Shilo Anders (Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Associate Professor of Computer Science, School of Engineering)

The other projects are Bringing AIDA, an Artificially Intelligent Dialogic Reading Aid, from Prototype to MVP (Peabody College: Amy Booth, Georgene Troseth, Margaret Shavlik; Data Science Institute: Abigail Petulante) and Toward an Artificial Intelligence-Based Music Tutor (Institute for Software Integrated Systems: Will Hedgecock, BEng’08, PhD’14; Blair School of Music: Pascal Le Boeuf.

About LIVE Spark Grants
LIVE Sparks Grants provide up to $10,000 and critical resources to winning teams, including access to specialized expertise, state-of-the-art facilities, and collaborative networks. They reinforce LIVE’s commitment to foster interdisciplinary collaboration that yields transformative learning technologies. All full-time Vanderbilt faculty and research scientists are eligible as principal and co-principal investigators, and teams must be interdisciplinary, typically inclusive of members from at least two different departments.

Proposed projects can seek to support learners from any age and through a variety of learning contexts. Successful proposals include advanced planning for effective application within schools, communities, and industry or through an entrepreneurial model. LIVE encourages proposals that include novel applications of emerging learning technologies, particularly those that explore the use of AI and analytics to improve learning or training.

About LIVE
Vanderbilt’s LIVE Innovation Incubator brings together interdisciplinary teams of researchers and strategic partners to develop cutting-edge learning innovations. By fusing advanced computational methods and AI with inventive teaching and learning approaches, LIVE helps empower individuals, communities, and organizations to navigate a complex and rapidly evolving world.