Durham College students present artificial intelligence project on Parliament Hill

A team of Durham College (DC) students, faculty researchers and representatives from the college’s Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE) returned from Ottawa this week after participating in Colleges and Institutes Canada’s (CICan) annual Applied Research Symposium.

The team from DC joined students from across the province, as they presented their project “Interactive Accessibility Assistant using Artificial Intelligence (AI)” to parliamentarians and representatives from the federal government at a special showcase on Parliament Hill.

Initially funded by DC, the Interactive Accessibility project set out to develop software for accurate closed captioning of teaching materials, to improve accessibility offerings and learning experiences for students at the college. The solution was developed by integrating several signal and language processing AI architectures and incorporating sound and natural language AI processing in a new and unique way.

The result was an application that can generate accurate closed captioning of any video or reading materials. In the case of the project, it was the colleges teaching resources that became more accessible, thus enhancing the learning experience for DC students.

With a goal of highlighting the impact of applied research and innovation for students, the Student Showcase gave research teams the opportunity to demonstrate how their projects provided a solution to a community partner or industry problem, while also allowing them to share what they gained from participating in the experience.