Carnegie Mellon University

SARA, the virtual assistant

a photo of Sara, the virtual assistant

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

Davos-Klosters, Switzerland

JANUARY 17-20, 2017

This year’s meeting focused on five critical leadership challenges for 2017 – strengthening global collaboration, revitalizing economic growth, reforming capitalism, preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and restoring a sense of shared identity.

With the theme Responsive and Responsible Leadership, more than half of the forum’s 400 sessions addressed strategies for fostering greater social inclusion and human development. CMU faculty led several of these sessions. CMU featured SARA, the Socially-Aware Robot Assistant. SARA was the only interactive demonstration in the forum’s main hall and served as a virtual personal assistant for all event attendees.


Subra Suresh, Justine Cassell, Steven Collins, Adam Feinberg, Illah Nourbakhsh and Randy Sargent