Six researchers who are shaping the future of artificial intelligence

As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes ubiquitous in fields such as medicine, education and security, there are significant ethical and technical challenges to overcome.

CYNTHIA BREAZEAL: Personal touch

While the credits to Star Wars drew to a close in a 1970s cinema, 10-year-old Cynthia Breazeal remained fixated on C-3PO, the anxious robot. “Typically, when you saw robots in science fiction, they were mindless, but in Star Wars they had rich personalities and could form friendships,” says Breazeal, associate director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “I assumed these robots would never exist in my lifetime.”

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