A graduate student won $15,000 at the University of Wyoming’s Start-Up Competition for his new Artificial Intelligence Software project.
Levente Pap is a graduate student working on his PhD in Chemistry. He comes from Hungary where he received his Bachelor’s Degree. Pap then traveled to England on a scholarship to attend the University of Leeds and work on his Master’s Degree. He was invited to UW four years ago and is now working for Elliot Hulley on molecular nitrogen activation.
Pap got involved in the competition with his product of an artificial intelligence documentation device that will recognize scientific vocabulary.
“The problem that I’ve targeted is documentation,” Pap said. “Lots of research scientists, engineers, and health care professionals spend a tremendous amount of time in the laboratory doing handwritten documentation,.”
His product is directed at fixing that problem.
“This [time] can cost,” Pap said. “They spend an average of 44 percent of their time doing nothing else besides writing things down.”
Pap’s solution is to provide a mechanism through which researchers can digitally take down notes and relevant information; however, no software currently exists with an understanding of scientific vocabulary.
“The most important feature is that you talk to the device and the device converts speech to text,” Pap said. “The reason that it’s different [from current models] is that these platforms are not able to recognize chemical names, formulas, and those kinds of things,”
The money from the University’s Start-Up competition will help Pap and his team create the best product they can in the shortest amount of time possible. He also won $21,000 at the recent Fisher Innovation Challenge at UW..
Pap and his team plan on taking part in other competitions as well as talk to investors to accumulate enough money to bring the project to a six-month plan. In order to get it to a six-month plan they will need to accumulate roughly $350,000.
“The unit can be used in a laboratory [which] is very dangerous so we are adding sensors into the device, extra safety sensors so it’s going to be water and solvent resistant, so when you touch it with your gloves it’s not going to melt the plastic,” Pap said.
Each unit can be given a name and will have safety features installed to assist lab workers in case of emergencies, acting like a Bluetooth device.
“Let’s say something caught on fire in your laboratory, you can use it as a Bluetooth headset and you can activate your agent, let’s say ‘Pamela, call 911’ and 911 is connected so you can talk,” Pap said.
Pap said he hopes to be able to have the product out between next March and April with the help of further investments. This summer he plans on hiring student help to continue with work on it.