At the UbiComp 2023 conference in Cancún, Mexico, it was announced that "MACH: My Automated Conversation coacH," by Mohammed (Ehsan) Hoque, Matthieu Courgeon, Jean-Claude Martin, Bilge Mutlu, and Rosalind W. Picard, won the UbiComp 10-Year Impact Award. The paper had been previously recognized as Best Paper at UbiComp 2013.
Currently an associate professor of computer science at the University of Rochester, Dr. Ehsan Hoque, who was the lead researcher on the original paper as a PhD student in the Affective Computing group, said, "Reflecting on the journey—this paper explored the potentials of vision-based conversational interfaces in enhancing human skills—from acing job interviews and mastering public speaking, to assisting individuals with autism. This concept inspired the 'presenter coach' feature in Microsoft PowerPoint, now utilized daily by millions. The narrative of designing AI to help us be better humans couldn't be more relevant today, amid ongoing debates around AI posing a potential existential threat and the need for its regulation. It's gratifying to witness the independent UbiComp research community acknowledging the impact of ideas that first emerged from the Media Lab."
This work was conducted in collaboration with MIT Career Services. The list of undergraduate students who contributed to this work includes Sumit Gogia, Michelle Fung, Eunice Lin, Ben Schreck, Nicole Pan, Kristi Tausk, Abra Shen, Tamanna Urmi, Shannon Kao, Sigtryggur Kjartansson, Angela Zhang, Anji Ren, and Geza Kovacs.
Professor Rosalind Picard added, "Getting best paper there was a big deal (first out of hundreds of submissions), and now, 10 years later, being chosen for their 10-year impact award shows that the work is recognized by this community as having a decade-long positive impact. I'm a proud advisor of this great work, led by Ehsan Hoque."