Sarah Laszlo

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CEREBRO: A Neuroscience-led Effort for Stable, High-Accuracy, Brain Biometrics

In September of 2015, the New York Times reported that Chinese cyberespionage agents had stolen the fingerprint records of 5.6 million U.S. federal employees from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). This was a severe security breach, compounded by the biometric problem that fingerprints are not "cancellable": That is, those users cannot grow new fingerprints; their fingerprint biometrics are therefore permanently compromised. This breach demonstrates two challenging facts about the current cybersecurity landscape. First, biometric credentials are vulnerable to compromise. And, second, biometrics that cannot be replaced if stolen are even more vulnerable to theft. In this talk I will discuss a novel, brain-based biometric that avoids both of these problems, and first steps towards how it can be implemented in a brain-computer-interface that identifies users of sensitive information.

Sarah leads research for an early stage biosignals project at X, at the moonshot factory. She holds a bachelor's degree in Brain and Cognitive Science from MIT, where she was Phi Beta Kappa and winner of the Hans Lukas Teuber award for scholarly excellence. She completed her master's and doctoral degree in brain and cognitive science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Subsequently she was an NIH-NRSA postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon University for two years, where her research focused on neurally plausible computational models of language comprehension. Sarah was a tenured professor of psychology and linguistics at Binghamton University, where she led the largest study ever conducted of brain development during reading acquisition, prior to leaving academia for industry. Sarah and her research have been featured on NPR’s Science Friday, as well as Wired, Scientific American, and the Huffington Post. Her research interests include neuromorphic computing, brain computer interface, and natural language processing.

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