If Intel, the $53 billion maker of chips that employs more Oregonians than any other company, has a rock star, it is likely Genevieve Bell, the Australian social scientist who runs a skunkworks research team of 100. Her job? To watch people.
As described in a lengthy profile of her that ran in the New York Times earlier this year, "Dr. Bell and her team are responsible for sussing out the attributes that people everywhere love, or wish they could have, in their PCs, televisions and so on. Over the last few years, they have been concentrating on consumers’ appetites for hyper-personal technology, like voice-recognition systems and fitness trackers. In essence, they are pushing Intel toward a more people-centric era of personal computing."
Most recently, Bell traveled the world, taking photos of the insides of people's cars, to get a better sense of how Intel could innovate for the next generation of automobiles.
Bell who spent much of her childhood on Australian aboriginal settlements and has a PhD from Stanford, was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame. She will be speaking at TechFestNW on "The Prehistory of Robots."
To get a sense of how her mind works, watch this short video: