AI for Multisensory Experiences: Where the Senses Meet Technology

Most of our everyday life experiences are multisensory in nature – they consist of what we see, hear, feel, taste and smell. Almost any experience you can think of, such as enjoying a meal or watching your favourite TV show, involves a magnificent sensory world.

In recent years, many of these experiences have been increasingly transformed and capitalised on through advancements that adapt the world around us – through technology products and services – to suit our ever more computerised environment. AI has the potential to scale human experiences beyond our imagination, creating new avenues to explore and reconnect with our world. At the same time, misuse of AI can amplify negative and/or false experiences, blurring the lines between what we should feel and what we are made to feel.

In this first Let’s Talk, we will connect with Marianna Obrist (University College London) and Carlos Velasco (BI Norwegian Business School (Norway)) to discuss the evolution of multisensory experiences and the relationship between AI and the senses. We will talk about how they both came into the field, why they are passionate about the work they are doing, and why this work is relevant in an increasingly digitized world. We will also explore what the future of these AI-augmented experiences could be, how they can help address key challenges to the Sustainable Development Goals, and our responsibility in shaping a future to improve our quality of life and the world we live in.

Speakers, Panelists and Moderators

    Professor of Multisensory Interfaces, Department of Computer Science
    University College London
    Marianna Obrist is Professor of Multisensory Interfaces at UCL (University College London), Department of Computer Science. Before joining UCL, she was head of the Sussex Computer Human Interaction (SCHI 'sky') Lab at the School of Engineering and Informatics at the University of Sussex. Her research ambition is to establish touch, taste, and smell as interaction modalities in human-computer interaction (HCI). Her research is mainly supported by an ERC starting grant. As part of her research, she developed a novel scent-delivery technology that was exhibited at the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2019 and 2020 in Davos. Supported by an ERC proof-of-concept, this technology is now commercialised through OWidgets Ltd, a University start-up she co-founded in 2019. Before joining Sussex, Marianna was a Marie Curie Fellow at Newcastle University. She was selected Young Scientist 2017 and 2018 to attend the WEF in China, and become an inaugural member of the ACM Future of Computing Academy (ACM-FCA) in 2017. More recently, Marianna was appointed as a Visiting Professor at the Burberry Material Futures Research Group at RCA and spent the summer 2019 as a Visiting Professor at the HCI Engineering Group at MIT CSAIL. More details on her research can be found at
    Associate Professor, Department of Marketing
    BI Norwegian Business School
    Carlos Velasco is an Associate Professor at the Department of Marketing, BI Norwegian Business School (Norway), where he co-founded the Centre for Multisensory Marketing. Carlos received his D.Phil. in Experimental Psychology from Oxford University. His work is at the intersection between Psychology, Marketing, and Human-Computer Interaction, and focuses on understanding, and capitalizing on, our multisensory experiences and their guiding principles. Carlos has worked with a number of companies from around the world on multisensory experiences. For more information, please visit


16 Oct 2020


CEST, Geneva
14:00 - 14:30