UCLA Human-Computer Interaction Professor Receives NSF CAREER Award to Develop AI for Physicians

Xiang Chen

Apr 1, 2021

By UCLA Samueli Newsroom

Xiang “Anthony” Chen, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, has received a National Science Foundation CAREER award, the agency’s highest honor for faculty members in the early stages of their teaching and research careers.

The award includes a five-year, $548,000 grant to support Chen’s research enabling physicians to analyze medical images, such as X-ray and tissue scans, using artificial intelligence.

More too often, today’s AI-powered programs are essentially a “black box” without readily understood reasoning behind AI analysis. This leads to reluctance for doctors to incorporate such findings into their diagnoses.

Chen plans to develop an interface that will help AI programs explain how they came up with their findings, and thereby allow doctors much more control in how they interact with an AI-powered technology. For example, doctors could adjust the AI to incorporate details of a specific patient, and add new medical information as it becomes available.

In collaboration with physicians from UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, Chen seeks to incorporate their recommendations and preferences in order to design an interface that will meet the needs of medical professionals

Chen received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University, and joined the UCLA faculty in 2018. He leads UCLA HCI Research, which specializes in human-computer interaction with emphasis on AI solutions. This includes designing intelligent user interfaces, new sensing and interaction techniques, and computational platforms that extend beyond a screen and keyboard.

To date, more than 80 faculty members affiliated with UCLA Samueli have received an NSF CAREER Award.