Dr. Mark Sagar is humanizing the interface between people and machines so that we might better cooperate with them in the future. His team is developing autonomously animated virtual humans with virtual brains and nervous systems, capable of highly expressive face to face interaction and real-time learning.
Sagar is also director of the Laboratory for Animate Technologies at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute. Sagar’s team brings technology to life, pioneering new technologies that realistically embody biologically based models of neural networks and neural systems with highly expressive faces to create live interactive virtual humans capable of emotional response and real-time learning, thereby redefining human interaction with artificial intelligence. It has the potential to impact everything from human-machine cooperation in assistive, commercial, educational and creative tasks to the future of storytelling with autonomous characters.
Sagar holds a PhD in Engineering from the University of Auckland and was a postdoctoral fellow at M.I.T. He was awarded Scientific and Engineering Oscars in 2010 and 2011 for his pioneering work in computer-generated faces.