Bangladeshi young lad Ehsan Haque has been honored as one of the 35 best inventors in 2016, who are below 35 years in age, by ‘Technology Review’, the journal of the world famous Polytechnic University Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. Before Ehsan Haque, many prominent persnnel have achieved this honor and among them the two founders of Google Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, designer of iMac and iPad Jonathan Ive, father of Linux Linus Torvalds, Yahoo’s co-founder Jerry Young, Jack Dorsey of Tweeter and so on are remarkable. It can be said that many of this list of MIT, later, led in changing the world. The job of Bangladeshi Ehsan Haque is to make and utilize the mathematical model of human-pronounced words and their body language. Such a device will be created through this which will assist to correct the mistakes usually made in the conversation of the people affected by autism or down-syndrome, in the preparation for interviews of the job-seekers and even in the speeches of the orators. Already a spectacle has been manufactured which will help the speaker to be more facile while delivering speech.
Conversation among human beings is like duet dance. We continue our conversation by understanding others’ words or gestures. Although this strategy of conversation is not written anywhere, everyone understands it. And, here, Ehsan’s job is to make these strategies comprehensive to the computer and as a result, the benefit is huge. Ehsan said, “Suppose, many of the people, who suffer from autism or asperger syndrome, can’t speak easily with others or even can’t realize other’s emotions. If they, once, start talking, can’t understand when they should stop. Even, they can’t understand whether others are getting irritated because of them or not. That’s because the body language of conversation is not comprehensive to them. Now, I wish there was such device which could tell the autistics about the sentiment of the listeners. It would clear whether the listeners’ smile is original or fake. If it happened so, the communication ability of this kind of people would have been better.”
The MACH (My Automated Conversation coach) and LISSA (Live Interactive Social Skills Assistant) program created by Ehsan Haque will be able to inform instantly that how many times a person has pronounced ‘Ha’, ‘Ahh’, ‘Oh’ and such type of similar words. It will also indicate whether other’s body language is normal or abnormal and whether his or her delivered words are appropriate or not.
While working in MIT Media Lab, Ehsan, firstly, created MACH, which helped MIT’s students to enhance their efficiency. Later, LISA recreated it by developing in different ways to help the autistics.
Describing the process of identifying the expression of human beings, Ehsan said, “It is a fact that examples teach us lessons. For instance, face of human beings is round-shaped in most of the cases. But, in spite of that, from an ambiguous photograph containing a human-face and football together, we can easily identify the human-face and football individually. It is very easy for the human beings to do this job, as we are used to see the human-faces since our childhood. Similarly, if a machine is shown many images of human-faces, as for examples, it would be possible for the machine, too, to identify human-appearance by using modern mathematical terminology.”
That’s the reason Ehsan Haque has been selected in MIT’s TR35 for accomplishing this tough job. His father Enamul Haque is a businessman and mother is late Syeda Lutfa Saba. He is one of the three children of his parents. His education began from Udayan School, Dhaka and Dhaka College. Later, he completed his graduation from Pennsylvania State University, USA on Computer Engineering. Then he completed his post-graduation from University of Memphis on Electrical Engineering. From the year 2008, he started working in MIT’s famous Media Lab to make the machines able to identify human-emotions by analyzing human-expression and vocal. He also contributed in creating first automatic robot in Walt Disney’s laboratory, which was able to see, hear and to take own decision. In 2010, he, again, created an advertisement-machine in IBM Watson laboratory, which telecasts suitable advertisements by analyzing passer-by’s movement, gender, age and color and category of dress. Later, in the year 2013, he created ‘Mood Meter’ that, by analyzing human-appearance, can tell whether the person is happy or angry. After completing PHD from MIT in 2013, he joined the University of Rochester. Currently, he is working there as Assistant Professor in Computer Science Department.
His wife Nafisa Alam and two sons Wali and Arik fulfill his family. Regarding his own job, Ehsan said “Those who are different, we, usually, call them physically or mentally disabled or abnormal, as we can’t understand them properly. I try to change them into being ‘normal’ as per expectation. I think, we should have some changes in our attitude. We also need new curriculum and new technology, so that especially competent people can be assured to have respectable and mature life.”