Innovator of Ai, VR and Robots

Steven King is an associate professor of multimedia journalism and emerging technologies at The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill holding a joint appointment with the School of Media and Journalism and Kenan-Flagler Business School. He combines computer science concepts, human-centered design and storytelling to create new ways to present information through emerging technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence and other interactive media forms. 

Steven is the Executive Director of Kenan-Flagler Next, an initiative to invent the future of higher education and he is the Chief Innovation Officer of Reese Innovation Lab which includes his ground-breaking research in applied uses of Emerging Technologies. The work of both initiatives have been endowed, received corporate funding and been awarded multiple grants including two Knight Foundation Grants and an ONA Challenge Grant. 

He also assists both U.S and foreign governments in solving difficult problems in times of crisis. During the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, King worked with directly with the ministry of information in Liberia to create a data visualization dashboard to enable better decisions for fighting the disease. He has also with the Thai government on how to use media to lessen the violence from Islamic Insurgencies.  King is also a regular speaker and faculty member for various programs by the Institute for Defense and Business. He has also used creative approaches to solve difficult problems including working for the release of Americans held in captivity by terrorists or foreign governments.

Prior to becoming a professor at UNC, King led a team of video journalists and video editors, creating multimedia stories while creating new business models to make the medium profitable for The Washington Post. He and his team were awarded 11 regional Emmys over two years. He also served editor of innovations and special projects at where he pioneered new forms of storytelling and generated millions of dollars in new revenue for the company.

In addition to teaching at UNC, King co-runs a non-profit startup called Adventure Squad which leverages augmented reality and storytelling to help patients at Children’s Hospitals across the country virtually escape their floor and get them out of bed and moving. Most recently, his and Dr. Richard Hobbs’ work was awarded the 2019 Harvey Award of $75,000 to spread Adventure Squad across the country.

King leverages his former work as an overseas correspondent and had led students on award-winning international documentary projects in Malawi, Thailand, Galapagos Islands and Mexico. These projects have won awards in competitions that included, South by Southwest Interactive, AEJMC Best of the Web, Horizon Interactive Awards, NPPA monthly multimedia competitions, Society for News Design Best of Multimedia Design and the Online Journalism Awards, among others.

He and his wife Amy served as overseas correspondents for the International Mission Board, traveling to 18 countries during their tenure and worked King also worked as a multimedia producer and picture editor at MSNBC Interactive for the Olympics.

King lives in Durham, North Carolina with his wife and three boys and is deeply involved at Chapel Hill Bible Church where he serves as an elder.

Professor of VR, AR and AI
Photo by Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill