Cynthia Breazeal

Personal Robots
  • Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences

Cynthia Breazeal is an associate professor of media arts and sciences at MIT, where she founded and directs the Personal Robots group at the Media Lab. She is Associate Director for the Bridge: MIT Quest for Intelligence where she leads strategic initiatives in areas such a democratizing AI through K-12 and vocational education. She also founded the consumer social robotics company, Jibo, Inc., where she served as Chief Scientist and Chief Experience Officer.

Breazeal is a pioneer of social robotics and human robot interaction.  Her work balances technical innovation in AI, UX design, and understanding the psychology of engagement to design personified AI technologies that promote human flourishing and personal growth.  Her recent work focuses on the theme of "living with AI" and understanding the long-term impact of social robots that can build relationships and provide personalized support as helpful companions in daily life. Her research group  actively investigates social robots applied to education, pediatrics, health and wellness, and aging.

Her seminal book, Designing Sociable Robots, is recognized as a landmark in launching the field of Social Robotics and Human-Robot Interaction. She is an international award-winning innovator, designer, and entrepreneur. She has spoken at prominent venues such as TED, the World Economic Forum, the UN, SXSW, CES, and she has keynoted at numerous top academic conferences. She is a recipient of the National Academy of Engineering's Gilbreth Lecture Award, Technology Review's TR35 Award, TIME magazine's Best Inventions where her Jibo robot was featured on the cover.  She has received numerous design awards including recognition by the National Design Awards, Fast Company Design Award, Core 77.  She has also been recognized as a rising  entrepreneur by Fortune and Entrepreneur Magazine.   Breazeal did her graduate work at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab,  received her doctorate in 2000 in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.