Sunday, May 11, 2008

Microsoft's Guardian Angel patent - a sign of next generation support

The bad news is that Microsoft's lawyers consider something as obvious and inevitable as "Guardian Angel" to be patentable. America's current software and process patent laws are insane. At a minimum persons evaluating patents need to be well grounded in science fiction.

The good news is that this is something I have been hoping would emerge sooner rather than later. The value for special needs persons, including the majority of us who develop special needs in our 70s and 80s, could be enormous -- especially when combined with ubiquitous robotics.
United States Patent Application: 0080082465 (Microsoft Guardian Angel)

An intelligent personalized agent monitors, regulates, and advises a user in decision-making processes for efficiency or safety concerns. The agent monitors an environment and present characteristics of a user and analyzes such information in view of stored preferences specific to one of multiple profiles of the user. Based on the analysis, the agent can suggest or automatically implement a solution to a given issue or problem. In addition, the agent can identify another potential issue that requires attention and suggests or implements action accordingly. Furthermore, the agent can communicate with other users or devices by providing and acquiring information to assist in future decisions. All aspects of environment observation, decision assistance, and external communication can be flexibly limited or allowed as desired by the user.
Many persons with cognitive limitations can operate well under ordinary and predictable circumstances. Any disruption to routines, however, can be overwhelming and dangerous. Technology of this nature can make a broader educational, work, and personal life possible.

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