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Lecture 1. Cognitive Augmentation

Lecture by Prof. Pattie Maes – MIT Media Lab; Medzia Arts and Sciences.

About Prof. Maes:

Pattie Maes is a professor at MIT's Program in Media Arts and Sciences and until recently the chair of the Media Lab's executive committee. She runs the Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces research group, which does research at the intersection of Human Computer Interaction and Artificial Intelligence with a focus on applications in health, wellbeing and learning. Maes is also a faculty member in MIT's center for Neuro-Biological Engineering. She is particularly interested in the topic of cognitive enhancement, or how wearable, immersive and brain-computer interface systems can actively assist people with issues such as memory, attention, learning, decision making, communication, wellbeing, and sleep.


While today's devices put the world’s information at our fingertips, they do not help us with some of the cognitive skills that are arguably more important to leading a successful life. Building upon insights from Psychology and Neuroscience, Prof. Maes presents projects from her group, Fluid Interfaces, where students, post-docs, researchers and collaborators create systems and experiences for support of cognitive functions such as motivation, attention, memory, creativity, critical thinking, communication, empathy and emotion regulation. These designs support users by teaching them how they can develop the untapped powers of their mind or by seamlessly supplementing their natural cognitive abilities. These solutions are typically designed together with target users and are compact and cheap to support real-life studies and interventions. These projects combine insights and methods from human computer interaction, sensor technologies, machine learning, brain computer interfaces, design, psychology, and neuroscience to create new opportunities for studying and intervening in human psychology in-the-wild. Check to learn more about Fluid Interfaces group.