Computers and smartphones are generally considered to be tools that enhance productivity. But while they have put the world’s knowledge at our fingertips, people need additional skills in order to be successful and realize their goals. This talk will explore how future personal digital devices may help us with issues such as attention, motivation, behavior change, memory, creativity, communication, and emotional regulation. Dr. Maes will present her research on wearable and immersive systems that in minimally disruptive ways can help people strengthen or complement some of these “soft skills.”
Pattie Maes, PhD
Pattie Maes, PhD is a professor in MIT’s Program in Media Arts and Sciences and until recently served as chair of the Media Lab’s executive committee. She runs the Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces research group, which does research at the intersection of Human Computer Interaction and Artificial Intelligence. She is particularly interested in the topic of cognitive enhancement, or how immersive and wearable systems can actively assist people with issues such as memory, attention, learning, decision making, communication, wellbeing, and sleep. She holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a PhD in artificial intelligence from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium.
Dr. Maes has received numerous awards during her career. Time Magazine has included several of her designs in its annual list of inventions of the year; Newsweek picked her as one of the “100 Americans to watch for” in the year 2000; TIME Digital selected her as a member of the “Cyber Elite,” the top 50 technological pioneers of the high-tech world; the World Economic Forum named her “Global Leader for Tomorrow”; Ars Electronica awarded her the 1995 World Wide Web category prize; and in 2000 she was recognized with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Massachusetts Interactive Media Council. In addition to her academic endeavors, Dr. Maes has been an active entrepreneur, co-founding several venture-backed companies, including Firefly Networks (sold to Microsoft), Open Ratings (sold to Dun & Bradstreet) and Tulip Co (privately held). She is also an advisor to several early stage companies, including Earable, Inc., and Spatial, Inc.
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