Jocelyn Shen

Research Assistant
  • Personal Robots

Hi! I'm Jocelyn, a graduate student student at the MIT Media Lab in the Personal Robots Group, advised by Professor Cynthia Breazeal. I graduated from MIT in 2021 with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science alongside a minor in Economics.

My research is broadly situated in the field of human-centered AI and aims to advance computational approaches, primarily using NLP and deep learning, for human-AI interactions that can promote connection, empathy, and prosociality. I believe that socially interactive AI can be used as a tool to better contextualize, understand, and express the human experience, both for personalization and interpersonal dynamics. My work focuses on developing social-emotional reasoning capabilities in artificial agents, as well as understanding the mechanisms behind human communicative behaviors. I use these insights to design new human-AI interactions with physically embodied or disembodied social AIs that can improve connection and foster prosocial relationships between people. Additionally, I am interested in evaluating the underlying capabilities, safety, and alignment of socially and emotionally intelligent AIs and place a strong emphasis on assessing the impact of interactive systems in the real world, across applications including emotional wellbeing, learning, and communications.

In the past, I've worked at Facebook (Software Engineering Intern), Citadel (Software Engineering Intern), and Affectiva (Data Science Intern), where I've developed full stack applications, backend infrastructures, and machine learning pipelines. Aside from my work, I like to sketch characters and write anything ranging from poems to essays to novels. My awarded creative works often center around themes of racial identity, the meaning of art, and the digital age.