Susann Keohane

Global Research Leader for the Ageing Initiative

Artificial intelligence (AI) is forging a new partnership between humanity and technology. With AI technology, the trove of data and cognitive powers, we have the capability to meet the needs and quality of life expectations of hundreds of millions of older adults. From healthy aging to chronic diseases, I will present the ways that innovative thinking using cognitive AI technology and is blazing the trail to deliver new types of products and services to support the world’s aging population.

Susann Keohane is the IBM Global Research Leader for the Ageing Initiative. In her role, she heads a worldwide community of researchers, technologists, and academics who help governments, industries, and companies around the world as they seek to develop products and technology enabled services for consumers in the new ‘longevity economy’.

She founded and runs the IBM Ageing-in-Place Research Lab which is designed to demonstrate IBM’s IoT-based cognitive solutions to support ageing and create an environment to co-develop solutions with clients. She also serves as a principle investigator for IBM’s collaboration with Rice University on cognitive sensor systems which lead to the development of the IBM Multi-purpose Eldercare Robot Assistant (IBM MERA). IBM MERA is a first of a kind Watson-enabled robot prototype designed to help assist the elderly and their caregivers.

Previously, Susann lead the accessibility enablement team where she was responsible for developing IBM’s global strategy and implementation mechanism for accessibility tooling, education, and compliance to emerging accessibility standards.

For over 10 years, Susann has focused her research on accessible technology for people with disabilities and the ageing population.  Susann is an expert in enabling human ability through emerging technologies with a strategic focus on accessibility research, ageing-in-place IoT technology, and cognitive systems to deliver personalized insights and adaptive interfaces.  Her expertise is utilized as a member of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Cognitive Accessibility Task Force where she contributes to the guidelines that help ensure the Web is accessible to all.

Her writing and research appear in publications such as Time Magazine, The Australian, Investor’s Business Daily, Business Insider, and PC World. She is an international speaker who has spoken at the BBC World Changing Ideas Summit, MIT Future Innovators Forum, IBM World of Watson, and SXSW Interactive. She is an IBM Master Inventor with over 150 patents. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from University of Florida and a Master of Science in Software Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Susann’s passion for innovation drives her exploration of future accessible technology to help bridge the digital divide and improve the quality of life of the ageing population.

She resides in Austin, Texas with her husband and two daughters.