You don’t get much more topical than these two IdeaFestival offerings ….
A hero of the Syrian civil war and a Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher exploring the science of emotion and health care round out the roster at the 2012 IdeaFestival.
Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat is scheduled as the marquee speaker for Fri., Sept. 21 from 8 p.m., to 9 p.m. (All IF events are scheduled for the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts.)
Ferzat became an international hero after he lampooned Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad. But Ferzat paid for his boldness in a country where no one lampoons Assad with impunity … Ferzat was kidnapped and tortured.
Ferzat will be joined by Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist Joel Pett, whose work appears in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Times of London, the Boston Globe as well as in national magazines.
This is from a sneak-preview synopsis courtesy of IdeaFestival:
Syrian editorial cartoonist Ali Ferzat is artistically talented, uncompromisingly brave, poignantly funny, and hugely influential. Named to Time magazine’s list of The 100 Most Influential People in the World, he had a large following throughout the Middle East for his craftsmanship and wry sense of humor long before the horrible incident that brought him worldwide attention. From 2001 on, Ali became even better known for his bravery. In a country where merely depicting the President was off limits, Ali lampooned Syria’s undemocratic President. Late on the night of August 25, 2011 government thugs kidnapped Ali, just three days after he posted on his website a cartoon of Assad attempting to hitch a ride from a fleeing Muammar Gaddafi. These thugs severely beat Ali intentionally breaking both of his hands before throwing him out of a moving vehicle. For daring to turn his pen on a brutal dictatorship before and after being traumatized, Ali has received numerous recognitions including the 2011 Sakharov Prize, Reporters Without Borders 2011 Prize for Press Freedom, and, the Cartoonists Rights Network’s 2012 Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award.
On the bill for the Thursday, Sept. 20 session is Prof. Rosalind Picard from MIT, who will discuss her research into Affective Computing.
Picard should prove a credible speaker on the subject since she created the entire field of research.
According to MIT’s website, emotion is a fundamental part of the cognative and reasoning processes, yet remains relatively ignored because it’s difficult to measure. But Picard and her team have developed models and sensors to delve into the role of emtion in health care delivery.
Picard’s IdeaFestival presentation, “How ‘Emotion Data’ ‘Will Reshape Healthcare,” is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Here is the sneak-preview summary for her event:
Rosalind Picard, Sc.D, Professor, MIT Media Lab, Co-founder, Chairman, Chief Scientist Affectiva
Picard will take the IF audience through a journey into the future of the exciting new field of Affective Computing….which uses technology to help measure and communicate emotion. Dr. Picard who is recognized as the creator of this field has along with her students has invented a range of novel technologies including small wearable biosensors, to ordinary webcams with software that can read your heart-rate, respiration, and facial expressions.
Rosalind Picard is a professor at the MIT Media Lab, best known for writing the book Affective Computing, which launched what is now an internationally recognized field with that name. She and her students have invented a variety of technologies to help people measure and communicate emotion. The technologies range from small wearable biosensors, to ordinary webcams with software that can read your heart-rate, respiration, and facial expressions. Picard is also co-founder, chairman, and chief scientist of MIT spin-out company Affectiva, which has commercialized the Q sensor for reading autonomic data comfortably 24/7 and Affdex facial analytics for recognizing facial expressions
Picard is author or co-author on more than 200 scientific publications.
She is a popular speaker and storyteller and her work appears also in WIRED, The New York Times, the London Independent, National Public Radio, Vogue, New Scientist, USA Today, Popular Science, BBC, Forbes, and more.
Picard is presented by Humana and Humana Vitality.