The Future of Work

Employment facilitated by online communication is transforming the way we work. In the U.S. alone, 600k people participate in online gig-economy—also known as crowd work—and the number of workers is growing rapidly (data from 2015). Crowd work's remote and asynchronous work style, unbounded by time and location, extends the contemporary office work, enabling people with disabilities, at-home parents, and temporarily out-of-work people to work.

At the same time, however, many are concerned that employers in these labor markets mistreat workers. Concerns about low earnings on crowd work platforms have been voiced repeatedly. Given the potential benefits and drawbacks of this new way of work, we study what opportunities online crowd work and gig-economy offer and what new challenges they create for people, particularly for those who have disabilities. We then design and develop technologies that mitigate and solve the problems.

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Accessibility and Assistive Technology

The accessibility of the physical environment around us influences the way we move and behave, particularly for those with disabilities. We use techniques from crowdsourcing, computer vision, machine learning, and information visualization to understand and inform the urban accessibility.

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Multimodal Conversational Interaction

We design novel multimodal conversational interaction methods that empower people with disabilities. Using technologies such as natural language processing, computer vision, and AI agent, we create technologies to support people with disabilities to interactive software systems.

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