Professor earns a grant to bring AI to new heights

July 24, 2023

Headshot of Chetan Jaiswal, associate professor of computer science

Chetan Jaiswal, associate professor of computer science, recently earned a grant to study “Let’s talk: Bridging the communication gap with A.I.”

Jaiswal is one of 10 faculty members from across the university who have been awarded grants from the Faculty Scholarship and Creative Works Impact Fund administered by the Office of the Provost. Through the generous support of a donor, the fund supports full-time faculty in their roles as scholars, practitioners and creators helping to build the University of the Future.

Jaiswal’s background and experience in cybersecurity and AI are what inspired him to research this topic, he said.

He went on to further explain the goal of the research that’s being conducted.

“The idea is to use AI to communicate effectively without the barrier of a language,” said Jaiswal. “Our research prototype should be able to listen, analyze and translate any language in audio and visual form to any other language in real-time. This involves spoken languages and American Sign Language.”

Jaiswal hopes the end result will bring people together beyond the barrier of languages and disabilities as one, he said.

He added that many people and environments could benefit from this type of research, an important one being educational settings.

“Imagine a classroom with a professor teaching in English but students can listen to the same lecture in the language of their choice,” said Jaiswal. “Envision a Zoom meeting in which a student with speech impairment can communicate effectively using American Sign Language. Or even a nursing student or medical student in clinics being able to understand speech impaired patient’s problems more effectively without even knowing sign language.”

Jaiswal explained that the development of this assistive technology could inspire new courses and research areas in the field of human-computer interaction and assistive technology. This could also lead to collaborations with industry partners who are interested in developing similar assistive technologies or integrating the technology into their products, he added.

AI is frequently looked at with wariness and unease, said Jaiswal, but his research aims to demonstrate how technological advances like AI can also be used for good.

As Jaiswal works on obtaining a provisional patent on his idea, he remains passionate about making communication with others seamless and without boundaries.

“Communication is an exchange of information that binds us together as human beings irrespective of where we are from or what language we speak,” said Jaiswal.

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