The Jenny Sabin Studio team includes Jenny E. Sabin, Architectural Designer and Artist; Dillon Pranger, M.Arch. ’15, Project Manager; John Hilla, Designer; Jeremy Bilotti ’18, Designer; and William Qian ’19, Designer. The Microsoft Research team is Eric Horvitz, Technical Fellow and Director; Shabnam Erfani, Director of Special Projects; Asta Roseway, Principal Research Designer/Fusionist; Wende Copfer, Principal Design Director; Jonathan Lester, Principal Electrical Engineer; Daniel McDuff, Principal Researcher; and Mira Lane, Partner Director/Ethics.

Cornell Professor Creates AI-Interfaced Photoluminescent Fiber Installation to Facilitate Dialogue Through Technology

In Building 99 on Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington campus, Prof. Jenny Sabin, architecture, unveiled her latest project: an AI interface called Ada that translates people’s facial reactions into color by using a network of a dozen cameras designed to collect people’s facial expressions. Sabin, who was invited to participate in Microsoft’s Artist in Residence program, hoped to “explore artificial intelligence in ways that would make it more human centered — would provide bridges to understanding the technology.” Through Ada, she hopes to bring more people closer to artificial intelligence in a more friendly, approachable manner. Ada was named after gifted mathematician and early computer programmer Ada Lovelace, who was cited to have written instructions for the first computer program in the mid-1800s. According to Sabin, the system functions as an interface for “expressing sentiment data that’s been picked up by cameras and reveals the data through light and color.”

Beyond the 12 cameras within the room, there is also an additional sensor and camera contained inside the project that can override the other cameras. These sensors and cameras read “the collective sentiment of the building [facial expressions] from individuals,” according to Sabin.