Category Archives: MIT

MIT IQ: Intelligence Quest

Source: MIT, Mar 2018

“Today we set out to answer two big questions, says President Reif. “How does human intelligence work, in engineering terms? And how can we use that deep grasp of human intelligence to build wiser and more useful machines, to the benefit of society?”


MIT Lab Uses Legos

Source: Business Insider, Sep 2016

The group also uses a system of Legos and projected data visualization to help lay people who actually live in communities come up with ideas for re-shaping them.

As the Lego pieces move around the map, the model changes the motions of dots and lines representing people and traffic.

They have different Lego maps for different types of city systems, all designed to be intuitive to use.

And yes, those are real Legos.

MIT Pirate

Source: MIT, Mar 2012

An underground novelty has surfaced into official MIT culture. Although student pirates have existed informally for some 20 years, the Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation (DAPER) has issued the first pirate certificates to six students who have completed the requirements.

what do the students receive? The certificates, authorized by the “swashbuckling” Institute, are printed on faux parchment and affirm that the named “salty dog’’ is entitled to a pirate certificate “with all its privileges and obligations thereof.” And surely they celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19.

Bob Metcalfe: Visionary vs. Stubborn

Source: MIT, Jun 2016

the only difference between being a visionary and being stubborn is whether you are right or not

Eric Schmidt (Former Google CEO) : MIT Innovation Fellow

Source: MIT, Feb 2018

Today, MIT President L. Rafael Reif announced that Eric Schmidt, who until January was the executive chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, will join MIT as a visiting innovation fellow for one year, starting in Spring.

Schmidt will figure prominently in MIT’s plans to bring human and machine intelligence to the next level, serving as an advisor to the newly launched MIT Intelligence Quest, an Institute-wide initiative to pursue hard problems on the horizon of intelligence research.

“I am thrilled that Dr. Schmidt will be joining us,” says MIT President L. Rafael Reif. “As MIT IQ seeks to shape transformative new technologies to serve society, Eric’s brilliant strategic and tactical insight, organizational creativity, and exceptional technical judgment will be a tremendous asset. And for our students, his experience in driving some of the most important innovations of our time will serve as an example and an inspiration.”

In his role as a visiting innovation fellow, Schmidt will work directly with MIT scholars to explore the complex processes involved in taking innovation beyond invention to address urgent global problems. In addition, Schmidt will engage with the MIT community through events, lectures, and individual sessions with student entrepreneurs.

MIT’s Intelligence Quest

Source: TechCrunch, Feb 2018

This week, the school announced the launch of the MIT Intelligence Quest, an initiative aimed at leveraging its AI research into something it believes could be game-changing for the category. The school has divided its plan into two distinct categories: “The Core” and “The Bridge.”

“The Core is basically reverse-engineering human intelligence,” dean of the MIT School of Engineering Anantha Chandrakasan tells TechCrunch, “which will give us new insights into developing tools and algorithms, which we can apply to different disciplines. And at the same time, these new computer science techniques can help us with the understanding of the human brain. It’s very tightly linked between cognitive science, near science and computer science.”

The Bridge, meanwhile, is designed to provide access to AI and ML tools across its various disciplines. That includes research from both MIT and other schools, made available to students and staff.

“Many of the products are moonshoots,” explains James DiCarlo, head of the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. “They involve teams of scientists and engineers working together. It’s essentially a new model and we need folks and resources behind that.”

Funding for the initiative will be provided by a combination of philanthropic donations and partnerships with corporations. But while the school has had blanket partnerships in the past, including, notably, the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab, the goal here is not to become beholden to any single company. Ideally the school will be able to work alongside a broad range of companies to achieve its large-scale goals.

“Imagine if we can build machine intelligence that grows the way a human does,” adds professor of Cognitive Science and Computation, Josh Tenenbaum. “That starts like a baby and learns like a child. That’s the oldest idea in AI and it’s probably the best idea… But this is a thing we can only take on seriously now and only by combining the science and engineering of intelligence.”

Robert Solow – 1987 Economics Nobel Laureate

Source: UPenn library, Apr  1988

In the late 1950s Solow formulated a theory of economic growth that emphasized the importance of technology. He stated that technology-broadly defined as the application of new knowledge to the production process-is chiefly responsible for expanding an economy over the long term, even more so than increases in capital or labor. And since basic and applied research is often the prelude to the birth of new technologies, the work of researchers has increasingly been perceived to have economic-not merely intellectual and cultural-significance.

But most remarkable, and startling even to the discoverer, was the finding, reported in the 1957 article (’‘Technical change and the aggregate production function’ ‘), that seven-eighths of the doubling in gross output per hour of work in the US economy between 1909 and 1949 was due to’ ‘technical change in the broadest sense” (which includes improvements in education of the labor force). Only one-eighth was due to increased injections of capital.

Karl-Goran Maler, Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden, a member of the Nobel committee, noted, ‘‘Solow showed us that in the long run it is not increase in quantity that is important. It is the increase in quality through better technology and increased efficiency.