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Designing Socially Interactive Robots for Healthcare

07 Oct
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Monday, 10/07/2019 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Computer Science Building, Room 150/151
Distinguished Lecturer Series
Speaker: Ayanna Howard

Abstract: For many individuals living with a disability, physical therapy is provided as an intervention mechanism to support their functional goals. With the recent advances in AI, therapeutic interventions using robots is now ideally positioned to make an impact in this domain.  There are numerous challenges though that still must be addressed to enable successful interaction between patients, clinicians, and robots - designing methods for extracting insights on a patient's outcomes; developing learning methods to endow robots with the ability to interact with the patient; and ensuring that the robot can provide feedback to the caregiver and clinician in a trustworthy manner. In addition, as AI systems become more fully integrated into the day-to-day activities of human beings, disparate impacts from human-AI interactions must be more carefully investigated. This issue can be especially problematic in scenarios where the user might experience tangible harms, especially as relates to healthcare outcomes.  In this talk, I will discuss the role of robotics and AI technologies for healthcare and highlight our methods and studies in this domain.

Bio: Ayanna Howard, Ph.D. is the Linda J. and Mark C. Smith Professor and Chair of the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She also holds a faculty appointment in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and functions as the Chief Technology Officer of Zyrobotics. Dr. Howard's career focus is on intelligent technologies that must adapt to and function within a human-centered world. Her work, which encompasses advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), assistive technologies, and robotics, has resulted in over 250 peer-reviewed publications in a number of projects - from healthcare robots in the home to AI-powered STEM apps for children with diverse learning needs.  To date, her unique accomplishments have been highlighted through a number of awards and articles, including highlights in USA Today, Upscale, and TIME Magazine, as well as being recognized as one of the 23 most powerful women engineers in the world by Business Insider and one of the Top 50 U.S. Women in Tech by Forbes. In 2013, she also founded Zyrobotics, which is currently licensing technology derived from her research and has released their first suite of STEM educational products to engage children of all abilities. Prior to Georgia Tech, Dr. Howard was a Senior Robotics Researcher and Deputy Manager in the Office of the Chief Scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She has also served as the Associate Director of Research for the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines, Chair of the Robotics Ph.D. program, and the Associate Chair for Faculty Development in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech.

A reception for attendees will be held in CS 150 at 3:30 p.m.

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