Inteview: Dr. Ayanna Howard Talks ‘RoboCop,’ Coding And The Future Of Technology


Dr. Ayanna Howard’s history with science is well documented and critically acclaimed. VIBE was lucky enough to sit down with her as she talked about coding, the future of tech, and her work on RoboCop.

To date, Dr. Ayanna Howard is a force of nature to behold. As an Associate Professor at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, her unique accomplishments have been documented in more than a dozen featured articles. Her work has placed her in rarefied air as she is one of the few scientists to hold the distinction of holding an Erdős number, which is four if you’re counting.

Having received her B.S. in Engineering from Brown University in 1993 and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California in 1994 and 1999, respectively, Dr. Howard has designed robots that can think for themselves. She has worked on developing the next generation of tech and artificial intelligence through rigorous design, trial and error. The gifted and brilliant mind originally received worldwide accolades and attention for her SnoMote robots, which were designed to study the impact of global warming on the Antarctic ice shelfs.

Watch the RoboCop trailer below:

Inspired by the television shows The Bionic Woman and Star Trek, Dr. Howard, at age 11, decided that she wanted to create artificial limbs for people. After originally setting her sights on medical school, she learned intently that she absolutely hated biology—especially dissecting living frogs. Upon learning that revelation, she discovered robotics and focused her life on becoming an engineer. Throughout the course of her education, she also made sure to keep the next-generation of critical thinkers engaged by developing a math and science mentoring program for junior high school girls.

In our discussion with the wonderful engineer, we talk about her participation in José Padilha’s RoboCop reboot, discuss the future of technology, and learn what she thinks about the current state of coding within the African and African American community.

You can listen to the full chat with Dr. Ayanna Howard below:

RoboCop stars Joel Kinnaman, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton. It is currently in theaters now.