Smart Augmentative and Alternative Communication


Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is a popular way to conduct daily communication for people having communication disabilities. This project aims at empowering the functionality of conventional AAC applications with language AI.

  • Smart Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Technical name of innovation
Smart Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Commercialisation opportunities
IP licensing; rehabilitation service sales
Problem addressed

Current AAC applications often lack of symbol recommendation functionality to speed up non-verbal conversations. Besides, human-computer interaction (HCI) remains difficult for most AAC users due to their limited physical ability.

  • A pre-trained language model and its personalisable sub-models for AAC symbols in Hong Kong's daily communication contexts.
  • Develop algorithms for AAC symbols prediction and recommendation.
  • Adaptation of interaction methods to accommodate users’ physical or cognitive limitations when using AAC technologies.
Key impact
  • The developed technology can be used to enhance daily AAC usage for non-verbal students in special schools.
  • The developed interaction techonlogy can enable users with severe physical limitations to interact with latest AAC technologies.
  • IEEE William E. Sayle II Award for Achievement in Education (2021)
  • As a basic communication tool for the non-verbal population.
  • To enable the usage of contemporary AAC technologies for users with severe physical limitations.

Centre for Perceptual and Interactive Intelligence was established by The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2020. Our Centre Director Professor Helen Meng and Principal Investigators have rich backgrounds in computer vision, multilingual speech and language technologies, natural language processing, and AI-enabled design automation.