Artificial Passenger

Artificial Passenger

The Artificial Passenger is a technology device developed by I.B.M. that is intended to prevent or reduce the incidence of drivers falling asleep at the wheel. The concept of the Artificial Passenger opened a new field in telematics research that defines a driver's current status and tries to affect the driver through biometrics use and interactions with the driver. The Artificial Passenger name was first suggested in an article in New Scientist magazine [Sample, Ian, " [ You drive me crazy] ", "New Scientist", Issue 2300, July 2001. Retrieved on June 29, 2008.] in response to inventions disclosed in US patent 6,236,968: Sleep prevention dialog based car system. [cite web|url=|title=U.S. patent: Sleep prevention dialog based car system|accessdate=2008-06-29]

The Artificial Passenger is a system that prevents a driver from fallling asleep via dialog interactions, entertainment etc. It further detects driver conditions (mental, physiological, physical and environmental) via dialog. This YouTube video at [] partially illustrates how the Artificial Passenger can work.

The New York Times describes the Artificial Passenger as

"..designed to initiate conversations, tell corny jokes, play word games, change the radio station and otherwise entertain the driver. The software learns the driver's preferences and keeps track of typical speech cadences so that any slurring that may indicate fatigue can prompt, among other tactics, a suggestion that the driver stop at the nearest motel." ["The New York Times", December 27, 2001." [ A passenger whose chatter is always appreciated] " by A. Eisenberg. Retrieved on June 29, 2008]

One of the Artificial Passenger's inventors, Dimitri Kanevsky, provides an example of a typical interaction between the Artificial Passenger and a driver as follows: [Kanevsky, D., Telematics: Artificial Passenger and beyond, "Human Factors and Voice Interactive Systems", Signals and Communications Technology Series, Springer US, pp. 291-325.]

Imagine, driver "Joe" returning home after an extended business trip during which he had spent many late nights. His head starts to nod …

ArtPas: Hey Joe, what did you get your daughter for her birthday?
Joe (startled): It’s not her birthday!
ArtPas: You seem a little tired. Want to play a game?
Joe: Yes.
ArtPas: You were a wiz at “Name that Tune” last time. I was impressed. Want to try your hand at trivia?
Joe: OK.
ArtPas: Pick a category: Hollywood Stars, Magic Moments or Hall of Fame?
Joe: Hall of Fame.
ArtPas: I bet you are really good at this. Do you want the 100, 500 or 1000 dollar level?
Joe: 500
ArtPas: I see. Hedging your bets are you?

By the time Joe has answered a few questions and has been engaged with the dynamics of the game, his activation level has gone way up. Sleep is receding to the edges of his mind. If Joe loses his concentration on the game (e.g. does not respond to the questions which Artificial Passenger asks) the system will activate a physical stimulus (e.g. audible alarm). The Artificial Passenger can detect that a driver does not respond because his concentration is on the road and will not distract the driver with questions. On longer trips the Artificial Passenger can also tie into a car navigation system and direct the driver to a local motel or hotel.

The Artificial Passenger may not be limited to driver safety services. Using complementary wireless services, here are 3 examples of other sophisticated conversations between a driver and the Artificial Passenger.

1. The Artificial Passenger asks questions to resolve ambiguities:

Driver: Plot a course to Yorktown, please.
ArtPas: In Massachusetts?
Driver: No, in New York.

2. The Artificial Passenger can fill in missing information and remove ambiguous references from context:

Driver: What is the weather forecast for today?
ArtPas: Partly cloudy, 50% chance of rain.
Driver: What about Ossining?
ArtPas: Partly sunny, 10% chance of rain.

The Artificial Passenger assumes that the driver means Yorktown, NY, from the earlier conversational context. Also, when the driver asks the inexplicit question “What about Ossining?” it assumes that the driver is still asking about weather.

3. The Artificial Passenger can manage failure and provide contextual, failure- dependent help and actions.

Driver: When will we get there?
ArtPas: Sorry, what did you say?
Driver: I asked when will we get there.


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