Hee Rin Lee presentation

Hee Rin Lee, assistant professor in the Department of Media and Information at Michigan State University, will present "Robot Design for Social Good: Collaborative Design to Support Inclusion and Social Change."

Abstract: Robots and AI are here. These emerging technologies are easily found in everyday spaces such as homes, libraries, schools, and hospitals. Although it is exciting to imagine these technologies, it is important to consider the unintended impacts of introducing them into human spaces. For example, robots can threaten human job security, and reinforce extant social prejudices through biased algorithms and morphology. My research challenges these socio-political issues via technology design.

My approach gives particular attention to underserved communities, and enables them to be more visible in our social systems, via collaborative design processes; ultimately, this helps them advocate for themselves and express their concerns. In this talk, I discuss three contributions of my research: 1) challenging ageism through robot design and establishing new directions for robots for aging; 2) challenging devalued assets of family caregivers and suggesting asset-based design approaches; 3) challenging power dynamics in workplaces and proposing AI literacy programs for socioeconomically underserved teens in public libraries. I conclude by presenting my ongoing and future research: developing robots as elements of library-based health programs (or public infrastructure in large), investigating AI literacy programs for current and future workforce, and exploring technologies to address socioeconomic health challenges of racial minorities.

Bio: Hee Rin Lee is an assistant professor in the Department of Media and Information at Michigan State University. She is a Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) researcher. Lee designs and evaluates technologies for social good with the aim of empowering socially marginalized groups, including people with disabilities, family caregivers, and socioeconomically underserved teens. This work will strengthen the autonomy of underserved communities in society to bring about positive social change. 

Lee’s research has yielded a best paper award, and four best paper nominations, at the premier Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) conferences, including CSCW, HRI, UbiComp and CHI. She has served on technical program committees for ACM/IEEE HRI conference, ACM Participatory Design Conference (PDC), the ACM Designing Interactive Systems (DIS), IEEE Robot and Human Interactive Communication (Ro-Man), and Symposium on Human-Computer Interaction for Work (CHIWORK). Lee’s work has been funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), National Institute of Health (NIH), and National Science Foundation (NSF). Lee received a PhD in informatics and computing from Indiana University and an MS in digital media from Georgia Tech. She completed her postdoc at UC San Diego.

To attend virtually, email Christine Hopper for the Zoom link.