Rosalind Picard on measuring stress, engagement and positive affect

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Rosalind Picard

Two of the main components of wellbeing are engagement and positive affect. Stress is often derided as harmful, but it can also be helpful for motivating achievement and for enhancing performance. Our lab has pioneered a number of ways to measure these kinds of affective states, with emphasis on making non-obtrusive measures that are objective, such as wearable sensing of physiology, camera-based measures of facial expressions, vocal expressions, and more. This talk will show live demonstrations of some technologies and discuss what they can and can't (yet) do.

This talk is part of the Advancing Wellbeing seminar series at the MIT Media Lab. For information about future talks, please join our mailing list by sending an email to wellness-seminars-join [at] media [dot] mit [dot] edu


Professor Rosalind W. Picard, Sc.D. is Founder and Director of Affective Computing Research at the MIT Media Lab. Picard is the author of the book Affective Computing, which gave rise to the field by that name. She holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with highest honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology and master’s and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT. Since joining the MIT Media Lab Faculty she has authored more than 200 scientific articles and been named an inventor on more than two dozen patents. Picard was also a founding member of the IEEE Technical Committee on Wearable Information Systems helping launch the field of wearable computing. As an entrepreneur, she co-founded Affectiva, Inc, which is today the leader in measurement of facial expressions online serving more than 300 Global brands in over 70 countries with over 4.5 billion emotion points measured. She also co-founded Empatica, Inc., which is creating wearable sensors and analytics to improve health, bringing to market a sensor for epilepsy based on work that started by comfortably measuring stress in autism. Picard and her work have been featured in New Scientist, the Wall Street Journal, Wired, Fast Company, the New York Times, Forbes, Technology Review, and numerous shows such as BBC Horizons, Scientific American Frontiers with Alan Alda, and BBC Hard Talk.

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