Mark Sagar

CEO & Co-Founder
Soul Machines

Mark Sagar is the co-founder and CEO of Auckland-based Soul Machines. A two time Academy Award winner known for his creation of technology for the digital characters in films such as Avatar, King Kong, and Spiderman 2, he is an Associate Professor at the University of Auckland and previously worked as the Special Projects Supervisor at Weta Digital.

Mark is interested in bringing digital characters to life using artificial nervous systems to empower the next generation of human computer interaction. Mark’s work is pioneering autonomous animation that combines biologically based models of faces and neural systems to create 'live', naturally intelligent, and highly expressive interactive systems. Mark previously worked as the Special Projects Supervisor at Weta Digital and Sony Pictures Imageworks and has led groundbreaking research and development of realistic digital humans for film, games and eCommerce applications driven by artificial intelligence. His pioneering work in computer-generated faces was recognized with two consecutive Scientific and Engineering Oscars in 2010 and 2011. Mark holds a Ph.D. in Bioengineering.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.