I have been working on furthering accessibility research and development for three decades. By challenging traditional thinking on how the visually impaired use technology, I have explored solutions to improve Web accessibility and usability for the visually impaired and others with special needs. A series of pioneering technologies generated under my research team contributed to advancing Web accessibility, including groundbreaking work in digital Braille and voice browser. I am currently focusing on advancing cognitive assistant research to help the blind regain information by augmenting missing or weakened abilities in the real world by the power of AI. Since 2014, I have been leading a research project to realize a practical indoor navigation system for the visually impaired pedestrians, and deployed several services including Pittsburgh airport and a shopping mall in Japan. I am working for an AI suitcase that navigates blind users even in a crowded or changing environment and helps them to enjoy urban environments.
June 2020 – Fellow, RCAST, RCAST Fellow, RCAST, UTokyo
2018 – IBM Fellow, T.J. Watson Research Center
2014 – Distinguished Service Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
2009 – IBM Fellow
2007 – IBM Distinguished Engineer
2004 – PhD, Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Grduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo (UTokyo)
1985 – IBM Research – Tokyo, IBM Japan.
1982 – BA, Department of English Literature, Otemon Gakuin University