Dr. Aleksandra Przegalinska: MIT Research Fellow/ Center for Collective Intelligence

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Admission Statement: I received my PhD in philosophy of artificial intelligence from the Department of Philosophy of Culture of the Institute of Philosophy of the University of Warsaw, currently I work as an assistant professor at the Department of Management in Digital and Networked Societies at  Kozminski University. Until recently, I conducted research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. I graduated from The New School for Social Research in New York. I will soon start research on work automation in the Labour and Worklife Program at Harvard. I am interested in the development of new technologies, natural language processing, the progress of humanoid artificial intelligence, social robots and wearable technologies.

How did you get into AI?

I studied philosophy, but really wanted to do something that would combine practical skills with more meta-level questions. When I accidentally attended a course on AI, I immediately understood that this is exactly the discipline that combines practice with philosophical questions about the nature of human mind, boundaries of being human and future of our civilization. I started learning how to program in LISP and Python and took some extra courses in cognitive science. Finished my PhD in AI and now doing my own research in the field. It’s a lot of fun!

Any emerging industry trends?

Artificial Intelligence is the trend. It’s everywhere. It penetrates all industries and almost all human activities.

How do you motivate others?

I think we are a very strong team of researchers that try to motivate each other. We have very complimentary skills and try to help each other as much as we can. We are all driven by passion. I am very lucky to work with such people.

Career advice to those in your industry?

My career advice in the field of artificial intelligence goes specially to the girls who think about it, but are afraid to try. Don’t be! This career path is for you! Also, AI desperately needs diversity!

My Favorite People/Role Models?

Professor Rosalind Picard from MIT, a very strong researcher in the field of affective computing.

My favorite people in personal life are most definitely my husband and my little daughter Alicia who rocks in programming!

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

Generally Latin America is my direction. Also, Jamaica.

My Current Passions?

Dancing, wherever and whenever possible.