Chieko Asakawa is an IBM Fellow at T. J. Watson Research Center and IBM Distinguished Service Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. She concurrently serves as Chief Executive Director of the Japanese National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan). She is focused on advancing cognitive assistant research to help the blind regain information by augmenting missing or weakened abilities in the real world by the power of AI.
Asakawa has been instrumental in furthering accessibility research and development for three decades. By challenging traditional thinking on how the visually impaired use technology, she has explored solutions to improve Web accessibility and usability for the visually impaired and others with special needs. A series of pioneering technologies generated under her leadership significantly contributed to advancing Web accessibility, including groundbreaking work in digital Braille and voice browser.
Asakawa has a degree in English literature from Otemon Gakuin University in Osaka and a doctorate in engineering from the University of Tokyo.