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Cynthia Breazeal MS '93, ScD '00

Associate Professor of MIT Media Arts and Sciences 
Co-Director, Center for Future Storytelling Founder and Chief Scientist of Jibo, Inc.   

Associate Professor of MIT Media Arts and Sciences 
Co-Director, Center for Future Storytelling Founder and Chief Scientist of Jibo, Inc.   

Cynthia Breazeal MS '93, ScD '00
Associate Professor of MIT Media Arts and Sciences
Founder & Co-Director, Personal Robots Group (MIT Media Lab)
Co-Director, Center for Future Storytelling
Founder & Chief Scientist of Jibo, Inc.

As a doctoral student and then postdoc fellow at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab, Breazeal developed Kismet, an anthropomorphic robotic head that encourages interaction as a social creature rather than as a machine. After completing her postdoc, Professor Breazeal joined the MIT faculty in 2001 at the MIT Media Lab where she founded and co-directs the Personal Robots Group.  She is the pioneer of Social Robotics and is recognized as an innovator in cutting edge technology.  Her book, “Designing Sociable Robots,” published in 2002 by MIT Press, is considered a seminal work in the field. 

Professor Breazeal is the founder and chief scientist at Jibo, Inc. with the mission to bring social robots to the mass consumer market.  It will be the first open social robotics platform that engages people in a human way.

Breazeal earned her doctor of science and master’s of science degrees at MIT in electrical engineering and computer science, and a bachelor of science in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

 

Highlights of this interview include:

  • Saw “Star Wars” when she was 10 and fell in love with R2D2 and C3PO
  • Role of competitive sports as a formative experience.
  • How MIT was the catalyst for the possibility that her Star Wars dream could be realized.
  • Designing robots for human robot interaction and role of developmental psychology.
  • Better technology supports a richer human experience. Robots able to help with something really important.
  • Creating technology capable of providing social support.
  • Robots are about supporting the human network, not about replacing anyone.
  • Designing robot systems that support learning and development for children.
  • Funding research vs. developing commercial products and the crowdsourcing of Jibo.

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