Engineering Human-Machine Relationships
Barbara Liskov, Institute Professor and Associate Provost for Faculty Equity, MIT; ; Leslie Pack Kaelbling, Panasonic Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT; Rodney A. Brooks, Founder, Chairman and Chief Technical Officer, Heartland Robotics; Martin Schmidt, '83, PhD '88, Professor of Electrical Engineering ; Victor Zue, ScD '76, Delta Electronics Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Director, CSAIL
Description: f you feel inseparable from your laptop and cell phone today, just wait a few years: the connection between people and machines is about to get much, much closer. This theme underlay much of the panel discussion. Victor Zue's computers can take subtle visual and conversational cues from a speaker, and respond appropriately (even switching languages at the drop of a hat!). Leslie Pack Kaelbling described the perfect office mate, the "Enduring Personal Cognitive Assistant," which will someday remind you to press forward on a neglected project or to soothe the ruffled feathers of a snubbed colleague. Martin Schmidt's lab is finding ways to plug the tiniest circuitry into a boot or a sneaker to harvest the body's energy for lightweight battery power out in the field. And Rodney Brooks showcased Kismet, a robot who can babble like an appreciative baby and bat her eyes in response to compliments. He also showed a remarkable video of another invention: a prosthetic leg that understands how it's being walked on and adapts. As a woman tries the leg out for the first time, she laughs with sheer delight.
Host(s): School of Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
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