The Role of Basic Research in Innovation – A look back and a look forward
Over the course of my 40+ year research career I have been fortunate to be at or near the center of some of the great changes both in the way computing is done and in how computer science research contributes to the overall story of computing innovation. In this talk I will reflect on that history and talk about the role of basic research in the technology field going forward.
From Programs to Systems – Building a Smarter World
The focus of computing has been continuously shifting from programs to systems over the past decades. Programs can be represented as relations independent from the physical resources needed for their execution. Their behavior is often terminating, deterministic and platform-independent. On the contrary, systems are interactive. They continuously interact with an external environment. Their behavior is driven by stimuli from the environment, which, in turn, is affected by their outputs.
Modern computing systems break with traditional systems, such as desktop computers and servers, in various ways: 1) they are instrumented in order to interact with physical environments; 2) they are interconnected to allow interaction between people and objects in entirely new modes; 3) they must be smart to ensure predictability of events and optimal use of resources. Currently, we lack theory methods and tools for building trustworthy systems cost-effectively.
The Future of Internet Search: Intent, Knowledge and Interaction
The decade-old Internet search result pages, manifested in the document-centric form of "ten blue links," are no longer sufficient for Internet search users. Many studies have shown that when users are ushered off the conventional search result pages through blue links, their needs are often partially met at best in a "hit-or-miss" fashion. To tackle this challenge, we have designed Bing (www.bing.com), Microsoft's search engine, to not only navigate through web sites but also engage with users to clarify their intent to facilitate the task completion. Powering this new paradigm is the Bing Dialog Model that consists of three building blocks: an indexing system that comprehensively collects information from the web and systematically harvests knowledge, an intent model that statistically infers user intent and predicts next action based on the harvested knowledge, and an interaction model that elicits user intent through mathematically optimized presentations of web information and knowledge that matches user needs. In this talk, I'll describe Bing Dialog Model in details and demonstrate it in action through innovative features, in particular by applying entity and intent understanding to proactively assist user query formulation for task completion.
From QoS to QoE: Towards Experience-Centric Evaluations of Tele – Immersive Environments
We are seeing a rapid growth of tele-immersive environments over the last decade with applications ranging from health care, training to entertainment. Despite their intensity of user-involved interactions, many of the existing evaluation frameworks remain mostly system-centric, utilizing Quality of Service (QoS) evaluation metrics. Over the last few years we are also seeing intensified efforts towards experience-centric approaches, utilizing Quality of Experience (QoE) evaluation metrics. These efforts are moving in the right direction of understanding evaluations of tele-immersive environments from the experiential point of view. However, the journey towards experience-centric evaluation of tele-immersive environments is very challenging due to (a) multi-modal media in tele-immersive environments, (b) multitude of underlying end-to-end networking and computational technologies, and (c) diverse human activities conducted and experienced in these immersive spaces.
In this talk we discuss the challenges of evaluating experiential tele-immersive environments, including the diverse concepts of tele-immersive system services and mediated human experiences, needed transformations from system-centric to experience-centric evaluation frameworks, and the dependence on activities that we experience in tele-immersive spaces. Based on selected tele-immersive systems in the multimedia community, we present promising findings to sketch next steps towards future evaluation frameworks of experiential tele-immersive environments.
Rosalind W. Picard
Surprising Discoveries from Affective Computing
Emotion is vital to physical and mental health - influencing the functioning of almost every organ in our body, including our brain and "how we feel." I have been leading in creating new technologies to help people measure and communicate emotion, getting objective data that helps provide deeper understanding of how emotion works in day to day life. This talk will highlight several examples of emotion technologies and findings that have come out of the Media Lab at MIT. Examples range from a coach to help people better modulate their vocal and facial affect in interviews, to a camera that reads heart rate and respiration, to a wrist-worn sensor that uses emotional disruption to better detect seizures and their severity. Affective wearable technology has also been revealing how brain patterns map to different locations on the skin and how emotional arousal changes activated during sleep affect memory and learning. This talk will highlight several surprises that we never expected to find when we worked on emotion.
The Impact of Computer Science Research on Science, Technology, and Society
The field of computing is driven by scientific questions, technological innovation and societal demands. There is wonderful interplay—push and pull—among these three drivers. For example, accelerating technological advances and monumental societal demands force us to revisit the most basic scientific questions of computing. These drivers are also measures of the impact of computing research. In my talk I will give examples from Microsoft Research of our impact on science, technology, and society. I will close with pointers to new directions for computing research.