Karishma Muthukumar

Karishma Muthukumar

Karishma is a graduate student in public policy at Cambridge University. She previously studied cognitive science at the University of California, Irvine. As a college student, she developed one of the top entries (“Promoting Empathy-based AI”) during the National Science Foundation’s open call for future scientific directions and was featured for being among the youngest to advance in the competition shaping U.S. science over the next decade. Her research focuses on empathy in the context of emerging technologies.

Karishma was named Young Innovator to Watch at CES 2018 and is the youngest on record to earn the best abstract in Artificial Intelligence at Pediatrics 2040 for her medical innovation combining emojis, AI, and Brain-Computer Interface to help paralyzed patients communicate. In 2019, Karishma was selected to join an international cohort as one of five DLF Fellows from North America committed to solving global challenges. Through the unique campus scholarship and leadership program, she founded a campus organization (The Patient Project) and published a book on the medical humanities. The Patient Project reimagines patience for patients — to alleviate the wait in healthcare. Compassion in action, she launched wellness programs to address elder isolation and led the university initiative to promote altruism through handcrafted letters.

She is a national Phi Beta Kappa Key into Public Service Scholar, Barnes and Noble College Scholar, and a recipient of the Strauss Scholarship for Public Service. At 15, she founded a nonprofit for neuroscience outreach, advocated for a city-wide proclamation of Brain Week, and was featured at the international Brain Health Fair.

Her work has been featured in Forbes, Science Magazine, Mission Magazine, OC Register, and the Huffington Post. A Forbes profile described her as “an innovator and champion of AI for societal good.” As the youngest main-stage speaker at UN AI for Good Global Summit 2023, she currently leads an initiative at the UN sourcing global perspectives on AI and establishing a standard for public consultation in AI policymaking. At Cambridge, she was selected for a placement at the UK Department of Science, Innovation, and Technology (DSIT). Karishma is dedicated to merging commitments to innovation, technology policy, and health to shape the future of AI.

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  • Organization
    University of Cambridge
  • Profession
    Graduate student
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