After a French baccalaureate in Physics and Mathematics and a B.Sc. in Psychology (minor in Philosophy), Aude Oliva received two M.Sc. degrees –in Experimental Psychology, and in Cognitive Science and a Ph.D from the Institut National Polytechnique of Grenoble, France. She joined the MIT faculty in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences in 2004, the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory - CSAIL - in 2012, the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab in 2017, and the leadership of the Quest for Intelligence in 2018. She is also affiliated with the Athinoula A. Martinos Imaging Center at the McGoven Institute for Brain Research MIT, and the MIT CSAIL Initiative Systems That Learn.
Her research is cross-disciplinary, spanning human perception/cognition, computer vision (visual AI), and cognitive neuroscience, focusing on research questions at the intersection of the three domains. Her work in Computational Perception and Cognition builds on the synergy between human and machine recognition, and how it applies to solving high-level recognition problems like understanding scenes and events, perceiving space, modelling attention, eye movements and memory, as well as predicting subjective properties of images (like memorability). Her research integrates knowledge and tools from image processing, statistics, computer vision, deep learning as well as human perception, cognition and neuro-imaging (fMRI, MEG).
With more than 100 publications to date, her work is regularly featured in the scientific and popular press, in museums of Art and Science as well as in textbooks of Perception, Cognition, Computer Vision and Design. She is the recipient of a 2006 National Science Foundation CAREER Award in Computational Neuroscience, the 2014 Guggenheim fellowship in Computer Science and the 2016 Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship in Cognitive Neuroscience. She is an elected Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (APA), and an Osher Fellow of the Exploratorium, San Francisco. In 2015-2017, she was appointed as an Expert at the National Science Foundation, Directorate of Computer & Information Science and Engineering (CISE) in the areas of Computational Neuroscience, Human and Artificial intelligence.
She is the MIT Executive Director of the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab, and the Executive Director of the MIT Quest for Intelligence, a new MIT-wide initiative which seeks to discover the foundations of human and machine intelligence and deliver transformative new technology for humankind. She is currently on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence.