Enhancing emotion recognition in children with autism spectrum conditions
Simon Baron-Cohen is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Cambridge and Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. He is Director of the Autism Research Centre (ARC) in Cambridge (www.autismresearchcentre.com). He holds degrees in Human Sciences from New College, Oxford, a PhD in Psychology from UCL, and an M.Phil in Clinical Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry. He held lectureships in both of these departments in London before moving to Cambridge in 1994.
He is author of Mindblindness (MIT Press, 1995), The Essential Difference (Penguin UK/Basic Books, 2003), and Prenatal Testosterone in Mind (MIT Press, 2005). He has edited a number of scholarly anthologies, including Understanding Other Minds (OUP, 1993, 2001), The Maladapted Mind (Erlbaum, 1997) and Synaesthesia (Blackwells, 1997). He has also written books for parents and teachers such as Autism and Asperger Syndrome: The Facts (OUP, 2008), and Teaching children with autism to mind read (Wiley, 1998). He is author of the DVD-ROM Mind Reading: an interactive guide to emotions (Jessica Kingsley Ltd, 2003) and The Transporters (www.thetransporters.com, 2007), an animation for preschool children with autism to help them learn emotion recognition. Both of these were nominated for BAFTA awards.
He has been awarded prizes from the American Psychological Association, the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BA), and the British Psychological Society (BPS) for his research into autism. For 2007 he was President of the Psychology Section of the BA, Vice President of the National Autistic Society, and received the 2006 Presidents' Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychological Knowledge from the BPS. He is a Fellow of the BPS and co-editor in chief of the new journal Molecular Autism. His current research is testing the extreme male brain' theory of autism at the neural, endocrine and genetic levels.
Future affective technology for autism and emotion communication
Professor Rosalind Picard
Rosalind W. Picard is founder and director of the Affective Computing Research Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Laboratory and is co-director of Things That Think, the largest industrial research consortium at the laboratory. She holds a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering with highest honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Masters and Doctorate degrees, both in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, from MIT. Prior to completing her doctorate at MIT, she was a Member of the Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories where she designed VLSI chips for digital signal processing and developed new methods of image compression and analysis. She has been a member of the MIT faculty at the Media Laboratory since 1991.
The author of over a hundred peer-reviewed scientific articles in multidimensional signal modeling, computer vision, pattern recognition, machine learning, and human-computer interaction, Picard is known internationally for pioneering research in affective computing and, prior to that, for pioneering research in content-based image and video retrieval. Her articles are highly cited, and two have earned best paper prizes. Her award-winning book, _Affective Computing_, (MIT Press, 1997) lays the groundwork for giving machines the skills of emotional intelligence. She and her students have invented a variety of new sensors, algorithms, and systems for sensing, recognizing, and responding intelligently to human affective information, with applications in human and machine learning, health, and human-computer interaction. Picard lives in Newton, MA with her husband and three sons.
Perceiving emotion: Towards a realistic understanding of the task
Professor Roddy Cowie
Roddy Cowie is professor of Psychology at Queen's University of Belfast. His research studies matches and mismatches between rational reconstructions' of cognition, particularly computational modeling, and subjective aspects of human experience. His early work studied visual phenomena, including impossible objects, misperception of motion and reading errors. A related phenomenon, speechreading, led to research on acquired deafness, particularly the subjective experience it leads to, its effects on speech production, and the way those effects are perceived. In the last decade he has focused on emotion and computing, and several of his papers and collections are landmarks in the area. His research in the areas has been funded by a series of projects, including Oresteia, ERMIS, SEMAINE, and SSPnet. He co-ordinated the HUMAINE network of excellence (2004-07), and is president of the HUMAINE Association, an international organisation for affective computing.
Robots as social learners
Professor Cynthia Breazeal
Cynthia Breazeal is an Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she founded and directs the Personal Robots Group at the Media Lab. She is a pioneer of Social Robotics and Human Robot Interaction (HRI). She has authored the book "Designing Sociable Robots" and has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles on autonomous robots, artificial intelligence, social robots, human-robot interaction, and robot learning. She has been awarded an ONR Young Investigator Award, honored as finalist in the National Design Awards in Communication, and recognized as a prominent young innovator in Technology Review's TR35 (formerly the TR100) awards. She received her Sc.D in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 2000.
Her research program focuses on developing the principles, techniques, and technologies for personal robots. She has developed numerous robotic creatures ranging from small hexapod robots, to embedding robotic technologies into familiar everyday artifacts such as clothing, to creating highly expressive humanoid robots. Ongoing research includes the development of socially intelligent robot partners that interact with humans in human-centric terms, work with humans as peers, and learn from people as an apprentice. Other projects explore how HRI can be applied to enhance human behavior as applied to motor learning, healthcare, learning, and cognitive performance.