IBM Fellow, T.J. Watson Research Center
Chieko Asakawa is an IBM Fellow working in the area of accessibility. Her initial contribution to the field started from braille digitalization and moved onto the Web accessibility, including the world’s first practical voice browser. Today, Chieko is 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. She has been serving as an IBM Distinguished Service Professor at Carnegie Mellon University since 2014. She will concurrently serve as Chief Executive Director of the Japanese National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) from April 2021. In 2013, the government of Japan awarded the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon to Chieko for her outstanding contributions to accessibility research. She also received American Foundation for the Blind 2020 Helen Keller Achievement Award. She was elected as a foreign member of the US National Academy of Engineering in 2017, inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) in 2019.