Pattie Maes is a professor at MIT’s Program in Media Arts and Sciences and until recently the chair of the Media Lab’s executive committee. She runs the Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces research group, which does research at the intersection of Human Computer Interaction and Artificial Intelligence with a focus on applications in health, wellbeing and learning. Maes is also a faculty member in MIT’s center for Neuro-Biological Engineering. She is particularly interested in the topic of cognitive enhancement, or how wearable, immersive and brain-computer interface systems can actively assist people with issues such as memory, attention, learning, decision making, communication, wellbeing, and sleep.
Maes is the editor of four books, and is an editorial board member and reviewer for numerous professional journals and conferences. She has received several awards: Netguru selected her for “Hidden Heroes: the people who shaped technology (2022), Time Magazine has included several of her designs in its annual list of inventions of the year; AAAI gave her the “classic paper 2012” prize, awarded to the most influential AI paper of the year, Fast Company named her one of 50 most influential designers (2011); Newsweekpicked her as one of the “100 Americans to watch for” in the year 2000; TIME Digitalselected her as a member of the “Cyber Elite,” the top 50 technological pioneers of the high-tech world; the World Economic Forum honored her with the title “Global Leader for Tomorrow”; Ars Electronica awarded her the 1995 World Wide Web category prize; and in 2000 she was recognized with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Massachusetts Interactive Media Council. She also received honorary doctorates from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium and Open Universiteit, Netherlands, and has given several TED talks.
In addition to her academic endeavors, Maes has been an active entrepreneur as co-founder of several venture-backed companies, including Firefly Networks (sold to Microsoft), Open Ratings (sold to Dun & Bradstreet) and Tulip Co (privately held). She is an advisor to several early stage companies, including Earable, Inc, and Spatial, Inc. Prior to joining the Media Lab, Maes was a visiting professor and a research scientist at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab. She holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a PhD in artificial intelligence from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium.