Pattie Maes is a professor in MIT’s Program in Media Arts and Sciences, the co-director of its initiative on technologies for advancing wellbeing and until recently head of the MAS Academic Program. She has over 25 years of research experience in human machine interaction, wearable computers and development of assistive technologies. Coming from a background in artificial intelligence and human computer interaction, she is particularly interested in the topic of cognitive enhancement, or how immersive and wearable systems can actively assist people with issues such as memory, attention, learning, decision making, and emotion regulation. Maes is the editor of four books, and is an editorial board member and reviewer for numerous professional journals and conferences.
She has received multiple awards for her scientific contributions and inventions and her 2009 talk on “the 6th sense device” is among the most-watched TED talks ever. Maes’ research in the field of human-computer interaction includes pioneering work in wearable systems for memory enhancement and behavior change, devices for the visually impaired, and brain-computer interfaces for attention regulation and sleep interventions. In addition to her academic endeavors, Maes has been an active entrepreneur as co-founder of several venture-backed companies that spun out of her research at MIT, including Firefly Networks (sold to Microsoft), Open Ratings (sold to Dun & Bradstreet) and Tulip Co (privately held). Prior to joining the Media Lab, Maes was a visiting professor and a research scientist at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab. She holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a PhD in artificial intelligence from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium.