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Deb Roy        

Leading Expert on Technology & Human Cognition

Deb Roy is an Associate Professor at MIT where he directs the Laboratory for Social Machines (LSM) based at the Media Lab. His lab explores new methods in media analytics (natural language processing, social network analysis, speech, image, and video analysis) and media design (information visualization, games, communication apps) with applications in children’s learning and social listening.

Roy is also co-founder and chairman of Cortico, a not-for-profit media technology company that is developing media technologies and services with the aim of improving the health of discourse in the public sphere.

He was co-founder and CEO of Bluefin Labs, a social TV analytics company, which MIT Technology Review named as one of the 50 most innovative companies of 2012. Bluefin was acquired by Twitter in 2013, Twitter’s largest acquisition at the time. From 2013-2017 Roy served as Twitter’s Chief Media Scientist. In this role, he guided Twitter’s product strategy and led the transition of the Bluefin team to become a global data science capability for the platform.

His research projects include the Human Speechome Project, a ground-breaking effort to understand how children develop language grounded in extensive longitudinal video, machine learning technologies for creating more human-like social characters for video games and virtual worlds, and collaborative work with Autism researchers and clinicians to better understand the developmental course of the disorder in young children.

An author of over 130 academic papers, his popular TED talk Birth of a Word presents his research into his own son’s language development that led to new ideas in media analytics. A native of Canada, Roy received a Bachelor of Applied Science (computer engineering) from the University of Waterloo and a PhD in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT.

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