Cynthia Breazeal named senior associate dean for open learning | MIT News

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Cynthia Breazeal has joined MIT Open Learning arsenic elder subordinate dean, opening successful the Fall 2021 semester. The MIT prof of media arts and sciences and caput of the Personal Robots radical astatine the MIT Media Lab is besides manager of MIT RAISE, a cross-MIT inaugural connected artificial quality education. At MIT Open Learning, Breazeal volition oversee MIT xPRO, Bootcamps, and Horizon, 3 units focused connected antithetic aspects of processing and delivering courses, programs, training, and learning resources to professionals.

With acquisition arsenic an entrepreneur and laminitis of a high-tech startup, Brezeal has a nuanced knowing of the startup tone of MIT Open Learning’s revenue-generating concern units, and of the value of connecting MIT’s heavy cognition basal with the just-in-time needs of professionals successful the workforce.

“I admit the imaginable acquisition and grooming interaction of breathtaking caller innovations successful the concern world. Each of these programs addresses a circumstantial marketplace accidental and has a peculiar benignant of engaging with MIT’s acquisition materials,” says Breazeal. “Horizon offers organizations a self-paced instauration for newcomers astir emerging technologies; xPRO offers a deeper dive successful the signifier of integer courses; and Bootcamps are short, intense, innovation challenges with an entrepreneurial mindset. I’m excited to enactment with these teams to turn and grow their respective programs.” Breazeal sees breathtaking opportunities to make solutions that harvester antithetic offerings astir a peculiar exertion innovation theme.

“We could not beryllium much thrilled to invited Cynthia to Open Learning successful this caller capacity,” says Acting Vice President for Open Learning Krishna Rajagopal. “She has a tremendous extent and breadth of acquisition — successful research, teaching and education, exertion and innovation, entrepreneurship and strategical planning. We are excited to collaborate with her crossed the enactment arsenic she brings her expertise, perspective, and passionateness to shaping the imaginativeness for Open Learning.”

Breazeal is globally recognized arsenic a pioneer successful human-robot interaction. Her publication “Designing Sociable Robots” (MIT Press, 2002) is considered a foundational enactment successful the field. Her probe has explored galore aspects of societal robotics and AI, with a absorption connected education, agency, and inclusion successful the plan and usage of these technologies. Breazeal continues to caput the Media Lab’s Personal Robots probe group, whose caller enactment focuses connected the taxable of “living with AI” and knowing the semipermanent interaction of societal robots that tin physique relationships and supply personalized enactment arsenic adjuvant companions successful regular life.

In May 2021, MIT launched RAISE: Responsible AI for Social Empowerment and Education, an inaugural nether Breazeal’s absorption to empower much radical to enactment in, and payment from, AI. A collaboration betwixt the Media Lab, MIT Open Learning, and the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, RAISE is progressive successful research, education, and outreach efforts to make caller teaching approaches, tools, and activities to prosecute learners of each ages.

“My idiosyncratic passionateness comes from a agelong probe docket successful processing AI-enabled technologies and experiences that enactment quality learning. I’ve seen however radical of each ages emotionally prosecute with human-centered, personified AI agents,” says Breazeal. “I besides spot however this not lone tin assistance radical larn caller skills and concepts, but adjacent attitudes that service learning specified arsenic creativity, curiosity, and having a maturation mindset. These are fantastic things, but determination is besides a imaginable for a darker broadside of the aforesaid AI coin. The liable plan of innovative technologies is precise overmuch astatine the forefront of my caput these days, and however we astatine MIT tin beryllium a affirmative unit for expanding equity, access, and accidental done innovations successful integer learning, education, and  training.”

In summation to directing RAISE, Breazeal is besides looking guardant to being much progressive with MIT Open Learning’s strategical initiatives, specified arsenic the pK-12 Action Group and MIT ReACT.

“I’m a existent believer successful Open Learning’s ngo to alteration teaching and learning astatine MIT and astir the globe done the innovative usage of integer technologies. In my ain work, I’m excited astir the anticipation of the relation of AI and learning subject to alteration however radical of each ages larn with exertion successful progressively engaging, creative, and effectual ways. I’m excited to play a relation successful helping to recognize Open Learning’s ngo successful collaboration with the brilliant, committed radical astatine MIT who person truthful overmuch to connection the world.”

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