ACM ByteCast features Pat Pataranutaporn


Katherine Taylor

Katherine Taylor

by Pat Pataranutaporn

March 30, 2023


Welcome to the ACM ByteCast podcast, a series from the Association for Computing Machinery! The podcast features conversations with researchers, practitioners, and innovators at the intersection of computing research and practice about their experiences, lessons learned, and visions for the future of computing. In this episode, host Bruke Kifle interviews guest Pat Pataranutaporn, a technologist and researcher at MIT. Here, he explores the intersection of synthetic virtual humans and synthetic biology, specifically at the interface between biological and digital systems. He is currently a PhD candidate at the Fluid Interfaces group at the MIT Media Lab and a KBTG Fellow. He believes in bringing crazy ideas and moonshot thinking to create future innovation.                                     


ACM ByteCast

Pat's research has been published in Nature Machine IntelligenceNature Biotechnology, IEEE, ACM SIGCHI, ACM SIGGRAPH, ACM ISWC, ACM Augmented Humans, Royal Society of Chemistry, among others. He also serves as a reviewer and editor for IEEE and ACM publications. Pat’s published research is recognized worldwide and has been featured in the United Nations AI for Good forum, Time Magazine, Forbes, National Geographic, FastCompany, The Guardian, Disruptive Innovation Festival, and more. 

In the interview, Pat describes how his early fascination with dinosaurs led him into the scientific realm, and later to the MIT Media Lab, where people are encouraged to think about future challenges rather than just focusing on solving current problems. He explains the research area of fluid interfaces and describes some of the innovative work his group has been doing on human-AI co-reasoning. Pat and Bruke also about the future potential of AI in education and wearable devices, as well as MIT’s recent space exploration initiative. Pat also offers his perspectives on art and innovation, identifies the exciting new directions currently holding his attention, and offers advice for young people interested in the field of computing.

Key Takeaways: 

0:29 - Introduction to today’s episode and guest 

1:38 - What led Pat to computing and his current studies? 

5:44 - What is a fluid interface? 

11:16 - Explaining human AI co-reasoning. 

17:02 - Looking forward to the use of AI for educational purposes. 

23:20 - The potential for wearable devices. 

32:07 - Thinking about innovation and space. 

34:35 - MIT Media Lab’s space exploration project. 

37:17 - What impact does Pat hope his research will have in the future? 

41:01 - Pat’s perspective on art and innovation. 

45:05 - How Pat channels his moonshot thinking. 

51:44 - Exciting new things in Pat’s research. 

55:56 - Advice for young people interested in computing. 

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