Cecily Morrison is a Principal Researcher in the Human Experience & Design community at Microsoft Research Cambridge. Her research lies at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction and Artificial Intelligence. She is currently leading a team focused on creating the next generation of visual agents for people who are blind and low vision. Morrison is exploring the interaction paradigms between people and agents that can be brought to bear to extend human capability through subtle dialogues with agents that see.
In this podcast, Dr. Morrison gives us an overview of what she calls the “pillars” of inclusive design, shares how her research is positively impacting people with health issues and disabilities, and tells us how having a child born with blindness put her in touch with a community of people she would otherwise never have met, and on the path to developing Project Torino, an inclusive physical programming language for children with visual impairments.
Morrison holds a PhD in Computer Science from University of Cambridge and an undergraduate degree in Ethnomusicology from Barnard College, Columbia University. She shares life with her partner and two children, one of whom is blind.
Professor Amnon Shashua
Professor Amnon Shashua is a President & CEO of Mobileye and a Senior Vice President at Intel Corporation. Among his achievements are the Dan David prize of $1 million in the category of artificial intelligence awarded in 2020; co-founding of Mobileye that claimed in 2014 the title for largest Israeli IPO ever, and in 2017 became an Intel company in the largest Israeli acquisition deal ever, for a total of $15.3B.
Professor Shashua holds the Sachs Chair in Computer Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; his field of expertise is computer vision and machine learning. Shashua has published over 120 papers in the field of machine learning and computational vision and holds over 45 patents. In addition to Mobileye, in 2010, he co-founded OrCam Technologies, a pioneer in developing personal, AI-driven platforms to provide increased independence for people who are blind, visually- or hearing-impaired, and others with disabilities. The company's flagship OrCam MyEye assistive technology device was named as a TIME Best Invention of 2019. Shashua's latest company is also in the field of AI, AI21 Labs, which helps AI systems process language as a human mind would.
In 2019, Shashua was recognized as the Electronic Imaging (EI) Scientist of the Year by the Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T) for his pivotal contributions to computer vision and machine learning, and for advancing autonomous driving and wearable assistive devices for the blind and visually impaired. Shashua and his Mobileye team were also finalists in the European Inventor Awards of 2019, awarded by the European Patent Office, for their advanced driver assistance technology which is making roads safer worldwide. In 2020, Shashua was awarded the Dan David Prize (Future Category) for his ground-breaking work in artificial intelligence.
Jim Fruchterman is a serial tech and social entrepreneur, who has already proven how technology can change entire fields in the social sector. He was the founder and CEO of Benetech for nearly 30 years, delivering large-scale change in partnership with hundreds of organizations as part of social enterprises addressing education, disability, human rights, and the environment. In addition, he has advised hundreds of diverse social enterprises on the use of technology and data. He previously founded two successful for-profit Silicon Valley tech companies in the machine learning/artificial intelligence field, and is an active angel investor in and board member for several companies. Fruchterman has been widely recognized for his social change work, including being selected as a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship, the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, the Schwab Social Entrepreneur Award, and the Caltech Distinguished Alumni award.
At Microsoft, Saqib Shaikh leads teams of engineers to blend emerging technologies with natural user experiences to empower people with disabilities to achieve more - and thus to create a more inclusive world for all.
His latest project, Seeing AI, enables someone who is visually impaired to hold up their phone, and hear more about the text, people, and objects in their surroundings. It has won multiple awards, and been called "life changing" by users. Shaikh has demonstrated his work to the UK Prime Minister, and to the House of Lords. The video of the original prototype has been viewed over three million times.
Shaikh holds a BSc in Computer Science (graduating top of his class), and an MSc in Artificial Intelligence. He has been recognized by the British Computer Society as the Young IT Practitioner of the Year.
Glen Gordon was the original architect of the JAWS screen reader and has spent over 25 years working to ensure that blind people running Windows can quickly and efficiently use applications to perform a diverse array of tasks. Blind since birth, his interest in accessibility developed out of a selfish desire to use Windows at a time when it was not at all clear that graphical user interfaces could be made accessible. He has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School, a software development degree from the school of hard knocks and lots of frustration trying to use inaccessible software. It’s that personal frustration that continues to motivate his efforts to make things better both for himself and others.
Amos Miller is a Product Strategist at Microsoft AI and Research where he drives a program that seeks to understand and invent accessibility in the world where artificial intelligent agents and mixed reality are primary forms of interaction. As the co-founder of Microsoft Soundscape, Amos has demonstrated how the value of working with design constraints in support of mobility and independence for the blind and low vision community has resulted not only in the paradigm shifting product that is Soundscape, but how those very same innovations in audio now open up new experiences and possibilities for everyone.
Amos has a B.Sc. in Computer Science and an MBA from London Business School and enjoys a rewarding career seeking to harness the power of technology to change the world for the better.
Previously, as the director for Microsoft’s Digital Advisory Service in the UK and later in Asia pacific and Japan, he led a program that helped Microsoft enterprise customers accelerate towards their business goals by helping them innovate and drive business value from advancements in technology.
Amos has served as president of Guide Dogs Singapore and chairman of the board for Guide Dogs for the Blind in the UK where he aligned Guide Dogs to become a multi-service, user centric charity.
Gilles Pepin is the founder & CEO of HumanWare, a global leader which provides innovative solutions to empower visually impaired people to develop their full potential and fully participate in society.
Over the past 32 years, Mr. Pepin has built HumanWare into a world class company in the field of technology for the visually impaired world. With its headquarters in Canada and offices in Florida, England and Australia, HumanWare has served more than one million customers. HumanWare is recognized as the most innovative company in this field, with more than 50 high technology products to its credit. Today, HumanWare still offers a wide range of products in over 25 different languages and distributes its products in more than 50 countries around the world.
In 2013, HumanWare joined the Essilor group, the world leader in the manufacturing of ophthalmic lenses. After a merger, the Essilor-Luxottica Group has 150,000 employees and generates annual sales of over 17 billion €.
Before founding HumanWare, Mr. Pepin worked as a consultant in a Montreal telecommunications engineering firm where he carried out major projects in IT, telephony and other telecommunications sectors. He then joined the Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille where he got his start in the field of technology associated with visual impairment.
Mr. Pepin holds a master's degree in digital speech signal processing from the University of Sherbrooke, a Diploma in Advanced Studies (DEA) from the University of Rennes in France and an advanced certificate in accounting of management from McGill University in Montreal. He also completed his engineering degree at the University of Sherbrooke in 1982. In addition, he did research in speech coding at the CNET laboratory in France.
Mr. Pepin is a member of the Order of Engineers of Quebec. In 2008, he was appointed Ambassador of the University of Sherbrooke. He was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association Québécoise des Technologies (AQT) and of the Fondation du Collège St-Bernard, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the "Essilor Vision Foundation".
Clem Wright is a Product Manager at Waymo, a self-driving technology company with a mission to make it safe and easy for people and things to get where they're going. In his role, Clem looks after Waymo's user experience and accessibility efforts. His focus is on ensuring all Waymo riders, including those with disabilities, can enjoy safe, comfortable, and convenient rides in our fully driverless service. He's been with the company for 2.5 years. Prior to Waymo, Clem spent 8 years at Google, working across Android and Chrome products. Clem holds a B.A. from Harvard University.