This Blue Sky presentation focuses on a major shift toward a notion of "ambient intelligence" that transcends general applications targeted at the general population. The focus is on highly personalized agents that accommodate individual differences and changes over time. This notion of Extended Ambient Intelligence (EAI) concerns adaptation to a person's preferences and experiences, as well as changing capabilities, most notably in an environment where conversational engagement is central. An important step in moving this research forward is the accommodation of different degrees of cognitive capability (including speech processing) that may vary over time for a given user-whether through improvement or through deterioration. We suggest that the application of divergence detection to speech patterns may enable adaptation to a speaker's increasing or decreasing level of speech impairment over time. Taking an adaptive approach toward technology development in this arena may be a first step toward empowering those with special needs so that they may live with a high quality of life. It also represents an important step toward a notion of ambient intelligence that is personalized beyond what can be achieved by massproduced, one-size-fits-all software currently in use on mobile devices.