My interests span around developing computational tools to recognize
the subtle nuances of human communication with a direct application
of improving human ability.
Current focus: The workforce of the future will have to be
creative and innovative, rather than merely good at performing
specific tasks. However, many individuals lack these skills,
particularly if they suffer from cognitive disabilities or
difficulties. Many argue that those skills are either innate or
require extensive practice with human experts. We show that using technology
we can improve the lives of disadvantaged, ill, disabled and other
individuals who struggle with socio-emotional communication, such as
those with autism, severe anxiety, neurodegenerative disease, and
terminal illness. Other applications include
deception. Check out
the projects page for more details.
My PhD thesis
yielded the first scientific evidence that it is possible for humans
to improve their socio-emotional skills through a virtual assistant.
The project was highlighted by MIT Museum as one of the most
unconventional inventions at MIT.