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Software boost for cerebral palsy

Scientists have developed new software that enables children with communication difficulties, such as cerebral palsy, to have more interactive conversations.

The "How was school today?" technology uses a sensor attached to the child's wheelchair to track and record where they go during their time at school to help them tell the story of their day.

Teachers or carers can enter more information into the system by using a swipe card to tell the system who they have met and what they have been doing.

A microphone attachment also allows them to record more detailed information about what the child has been doing.

The software generates the information into simple sentences, with children being able to add their own comments by pressing a smiley face button to indicate that someone they met was nice.

When asked about their day the child can then press a button and the machine reads out the list of activities.

The technology is the result of work by computing scientists from Dundee and Aberdeen universities and Capability Scotland.

Dr Annalu Waller, from the University of Dundee's School of Computing, said: "We are trying to use the power of artificial intelligence to support these children in communicating more fluently."

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