On March 17, 2022, ISSAI researcher and doctoral student of Nazarbayev University School of Engineering and Digital Sciences, Zhanat Makhataeva, participated as a speaker in the event “Nauryz Meetings”, organized by the autonomous educational organization “Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools”.
Nauryz Meetings is an annual event held by Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools to develop research skills of school pupils, involve them in science and deepen their knowledge. This year the event was held online.
Zhanat Makhataeva made a presentation on her research topic “ExoMem – Human Memory Augmentation System enhanced with AR and AI”. Zhanat mentioned that, according to the World Health Organization, one in four people worldwide suffers from cognitive impairment. In general, human information processing begins in sensory memory, then moves to working memory and finally to long-term memory. Human working memory is important because it is used for processing and learning, but its capacity is limited. Therefore, humans are subject to cognitive load. To reduce the load, we need assistive technologies and systems.
To solve this problem, in her research, Zhanat has developed the “ExoMem” system, which enhances human memory. The system consists of two parts: Microsoft HoloLens2 smart glasses, which receive information from the environment (sensory memory functions), and an AI module that performs calculations and serves as a working memory. When the glasses are on, the system detects the wearer’s location and the objects that the person sees, and saves this information in the system. Consequently, the person has access to this information where they can see their journey and the objects they saw on the journey highlighted in color (spatiotemporal memory). So, the users of ExoMem do not have to memorize the location of each object, nor do they need to remember their route, as all this information is automatically stored in the system as the person uses it.
The results of the project also showed that, when using ExoMem, the overall mental demand decreased, the productivity of recall increased, and the error rate of recall was lower.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity to speak about my research at Nauryz Meetings. I think this is a wonderful event for schoolchildren where they can gain new information, learn about different areas of science, and get a little closer to becoming a researcher and a scientist,” says Zhanat.