Rosalind Wright Picard is an American scholar & inventor, professor of Media Arts & Sciences at MIT, founder & director of the Affective Computing Research Group at the MIT Media Lab, and co-founder of the startups Affectiva and Empatica.
When we talk about AI, we’re often talking about a very particular, narrow form of intelligence — the sort of analytical competence that can win you games of GO or solve complex math equations. That type of intelligence is important, but it’s incomplete. Human affairs don’t operate on reason and logic alone. They sometimes don't operate on reason and logic at all.In 1995, computer scientist Rosalind Picard wrote a paper and subsequent book making the case that the fields of computer science and AI should take emotion seriously, and providing a framework for how machines could come to understand, express and monitor emotion. That project launched the field of “Affective Computing” and today Picard is the founder and director of the Affective Computing Research Group at MIT, and a leading inventor and entrepreneur in affective computing. In this conversation, Picard and I discuss the importance of emotional cognition to human decision-making, how emotion-tracking technology is being used to help disadvantaged populations (but could also be used to bring about dystopian results), how affective computing deals with the subjective expressions of human emotions, what studying affective computing taught her about interacting with other humans, why Picard believes the goal of AI technology should be to “empower the weak”and “reduce inequality,” and much more.Book recommendations: The Bible (stick around for the reasoning behind this one)Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.comPlease consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas.New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide ( Jack-of-all-audio-trades Jeff GeldResearcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Share Profile
Are you Rosalind? Verify and edit this page to your liking.

Share This Creator

Recommendation sent

Join Podchaser to...

  • Rate podcasts and episodes
  • Follow podcasts and creators
  • Create podcast and episode lists
  • & much more

Creator Details

May 17th, 1962
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
1 hour, 18 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 005906