Objectives

Research Coordination Objectives

The Action will involve researchers and companies from the different areas involved in audio- and video-based AAL systems: computer vision, audio processing, healthcare, ethics, law, health economics, and assistive technologies. Goodbrother will also involve other stakeholders, i.e. end users, policy and decision makers, advocacy groups, in order to address the issues associated with these AAL applications, which limit their acceptance by users. The Action will organise activities, e.g. Working Group (WG) meetings, conferences, workshops, training schools, and Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSMs), in order to exchange relevant knowledge among the participants.

Each individual has their own personal perception about what is private and under which conditions private information may be made available to others. This perception may differ due to gender, social and cultural background, health status, or other personal factors. Therefore, a comprehensive analysis of these issues linked to audio- and video- based monitoring will be carried out, involving academics, end users, healthcare professionals, and advocacy groups, in order to obtain an intercultural acceptance cartography of these technologies. This analysis will guide the design and development of privacy-aware AAL systems.

Goodbrother will examine the data protection obligations of monitoring technologies for AAL. Such systems collect a large amount of audio and video data of those individuals seeking to benefit from them. The storage, use and transfer of these data must comply with rigorous data protection laws, particularly, the GDPR. Hence, the Action will create and promote guidelines to drive the design of privacy- compliant solutions addressing the GDPR obligations.

The Action will promote the publication of conference and open-access journal papers in order to disseminate its outcomes. This will increase the impact of Goodbrother in the research community. There is also a lack of awareness among other stakeholders, i.e. service procurers and providers, end users, and policy and decision makers, about the current state of audio- and video-based technologies and their application to AAL. Goodbrother will organise activities for public engagement to increase user awareness and gather relevant input. Additionally, the Action will target forums and fairs, and other events attended by industry-related stakeholders.

Knowledge generated during the Action will serve to prepare a strategic research agenda in this multidisciplinary area, which may be adopted by European/national policy makers and funding bodies. Goodbrother will propose a certification on ethical and legal compliance of AAL services that would be applicable across the Member States. The Action will also lay the groundwork for the creation of an organisation in charge of granting this certification.

While research in audio- and video-based solutions has progressed significantly in the last years, the presence of solutions in the market is very limited. Most of the developments do not exceed the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5. The Action will provide mechanisms to facilitate interaction with key industry and services to enhance adoption, sustainability, and scalability of reliable technologies, e.g. Industry Days and STSMs of ECIs in the industry. Goodbrother will promote the cooperation in joint R&I projects between researchers, industry partners and service providers. These activities will contribute to reaching TRL 6 to 9.

Capacity-building Objectives

Goodbrother will constitute a network of researchers from a variety of disciplines and at different career stages (experienced researchers and ECIs), SMEs, large companies, end users, service providers, and policy and decision makers, to progress in the design of ethical-aware AAL systems. The Action will foster the exchange of knowledge, ideas and solutions, creating interdisciplinary WGs working alongside in order to fulfil its aim. The Action will organise specific dissemination and communication activities, and it will provide a website and social media updated with relevant information, in order to involve other stakeholders and reach the general public.

Researchers in Goodbrother work in different AAL applications. However, most of these applications share similar processing stages: data acquisition and pre-processing, feature extraction and recognition. Making accessible their software will facilitate and speed up the development of privacy-aware robust and effective solutions. Another relevant current problem is the lack of audio and video data, acquired in real family or care homes, for validating longitudinal AAL studies. Hence, the Action will establish guidelines to acquire those data sets following ethical and legal requirements and will collect and promote the collection of public data sets to address this research gap. Besides, many research groups and companies worldwide have limited resources, either to develop software from scratch or to obtain quality data to validate their developments. Goodbrother will then support research by joining the EC Open Research Data Pilot, and making public this software and data to the R&I community.

Goodbrother will attract a mass of ECIs, facilitate their mobility via STSMs in either research institutions or companies, their multidisciplinary training, and their participation in research excellence programmes, e.g. Marie Skłodowska-Curie or ERC, in order to develop their expertise and abilities, paving the way to their future leadership. The Action will also establish a mentorship programme so that experienced researchers could advise and guide ECIs in their research and career paths.

The Action will consider the different capacities in research across Europe and neighbouring countries. Therefore, Goodbrother will organise and support events in those countries in order to enhance their research force and outcomes, and increase their visibility among the local institutions, funding bodies, industry and the general public. Goodbrother will also promote the involvement of participants from ITCs in the management bodies of the Action, and prioritise their participation in the training schools and STSMs. Additionally, the Action will provide ITC Conference Grants so that participants from ITCs could attend relevant conferences.