Maryam Ashoori PhD  Maryam Ashoori PhD photo         

contact information

IBM Research AI
Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY USA


Professional Associations

Professional Associations:  Human Factors and Ergonomics Society


Maryam Ashoori is a Research Staff Member and manager of User Experience and Design at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center (IBM Research AI group) currently focused on developing next-generation human-machine interfaces to enable symbiotic relationships between people and cognitive systems.

Dr. Ashoori is the creator of TJBot and Entanglion and known as the 'Cool things' Czar!


She is part computer scientist, part user experience analyst, and part interface artist with a passion for exploring the intersection between art and computer science and building usable, useful, and desirable products. She designs for environments where multiple people come together in a physical space to interact with one another and with one or more intelligent agents. Dr. Ashoori is interested in exploring how different environmental characteristics of a room such as the content displayed across a multitude of screens situated around the room, the intensity and coloring of ambient lighting, and even the characteristics of the smart objects contained within the room (aka 'Cognitive Objects') can affect interactions and the quality of the decisions made in the room. Some of her previous experiments include a 'zen garden' that can relieve stress during a meeting or an 'inspiration' place to spark creativity. 



Cognitive Objects embody cognitive intelligent agents, providing a physical object that may sense, compute, react, and interact with the power of cognitive computing. Dr. Ashoori has explored various form factors of objects (dress, lamp, chair, globe, caduceus) for multiple industry scenarios. She is the creator of 'Watson Maker Kits', a fun initiave toward open sourcing Cognitive Objects.



Dr. Ashoori also manages a team of designers to create online experiences for Quantum Computing research & education, under the branding of IBM Q. The complexity of quantum computing interfaces makes it a fascinating HCI challenge that requires a tight collaboration with quantum computing researchers and scientists, educators, and system developers.


In the first few weeks after TJBot was release, he was highlighted in US and international press by the SDTimes, Disruptive Tech TV, iProgrammer, GamingGadgets (Germany), All About Circuits, Electronics 360, TechNews (Taiwan), Panorama (Italy), ComputerWorld (Malaysia), and others. In the US, TJBot’s popularity attracted the attention of two major worldwide electronics suppliers, Adafruit and Sparkfun, as well as a few smaller suppliers. Sparkfun and Adafruit have both sold TJBot kits on their website and on Amazon.


Selected Invited Talks

  • TJBot Swift Playground | Beyond WWDC 2017, Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference | June 5 - 9 | San Jose, CA
  • Build a TJBot and Take Him Home | SXSW 2017 | March 9-18 | Austin, TX 
  •  Watson Globe, Transforming a meeting room into a cognitive room | World of Watson 2016 | October 24 - 27 | Vegas, NV
  •  TJBot and Embodied Cognition | developerWorks Open | February 22, 2017 | Video Broadcast