Fernanda Viégas is a Sally Starling Seaver Professor at Harvard Radcliffe Institute and a Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences who is also affiliated with the Harvard Business School. Viégas is a principal scientist at Google, where she cofounded the People + AI Research (PAIR) initiative with her longtime collaborator Martin Wattenberg. Her recent work in machine learning focuses on improving human/AI interaction with a broader agenda of raising AI literacy. Previously, her contributions have helped shape the field of social and collaborative visualization. The systems her teams have created are used daily by millions of people.
During her fellowship, Viégas is excited to explore new modes of human/AI interaction that draw from her roots in data visualization and human-computer interaction. She is interested in the possibility of leveraging advances in AI interpretability (usually aimed at experts) to help drive improvements in lay user agency and control of AI systems. She looks forward to working with colleagues from various departments at Harvard to uncover creative and useful ways of empowering a wide range of users.
Viégas earned a PhD and a master’s from the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She holds an honorary PhD from Claremont Graduate University. Her visualization-based artwork with Wattenberg has been exhibited worldwide and is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, in New York.