Workshops: Wednesday, October 24

David Silverman Photography

Fall 2018 member meeting
Workshops: Wednesday, October 24

Attendance at this event is by invitation only.

AI-Assisted Data Science with BayesDB

Vikash K. Mansinghka | E14- 3rd Floor Atrium 

Many data science problems involve sparse, messy datasets and questions with intrinsically uncertain answers. This workshop will look at new MIT research on open source software for AI-assisted data science, emphasizing a new probabilistic programming platform called BayesDB. In this tutorial, we’ll discuss how BayesDB provides a built-in system for automatic model discovery, which builds generative models for multivariate databases, and makes it easy for users to search, clean, and model these databases using a simple, interactiveSQL-like language, and a prototype Google Sheets interface. These interfaces let users without expertise in statistics build probabilistic programs from data, then use them to solve a broad class of data search, exploratory data analysis, inferential statistics, and predictive modeling problems. DARPA evaluations showed that BayesDB can enable users to solve data science problems in hours, with higher accuracy than experts were able to produce in days/weeks, using datasets drawn from global development and environmental monitoring. Join our interactive demo session for an overview of AI-assisted data science, followed by a demo of our spreadsheet and SQL interfaces, and a discussion of use cases and feature requests.

Mediated Atmospheres: Multimodal Media Environments

Nan Zhao, Joseph Paradiso | E14-393

The atmosphere of a space—comprising its sensorial qualities—is shaped by the composition of light, sound, objects, and people, and has a remarkable influence on our experiences and behavior. Manipulating it has been shown to have powerful effects on our cognitive performance, mood, and even physiology. In this workshop, we will share our vision for seamless building control, and spark a discussion about multimodal environments for productivity and wellbeing.

Networks, trust, and money: How cryptocurrency will change society

Rhys Lindmark, Alin Dragos | E14-514B

Technology changes society in fascinating and surprising ways. In this workshop, we’ll specifically ask—how will cryptocurrency impact our institutions, stories, and relationships? What happens when cryptocurrency changes core primitives like money and trust? How will institutions like nation-states and banks co-evolve with new blockchain-based networks? What are some leading indicators of these transformations and how should we respond?

Open Ocean open house

Katy Croff Bell | E14-240

The Open Ocean Initiative has a vision to propel ocean exploration into the future. We welcome all interested member companies to join us as we share our transformative goals and demo our first wave of projects. Our current and developing work empower both experts and the broader community to make discoveries through distributed networks, sensors, and outreach, and enabling the public to contribute to both ocean discovery and awareness in a meaningful way. Some of the many projects that will be highlighted are pilot programs that increase the technology capacity for low- to middle-income island nations so that they may explore the deep sea in their own backyard, a prototype underwater LEGO explorer, development of a low-cost tool for rapidly mapping complex and enclosed underwater spaces, a system for making valuable underwater video accessible and usable for all, and an at-scale exhibition of coral bleaching using projection mapping on a coral-like surface.

Personalized AI: From Perception to Interaction to a Better Us

Oggi Rudovic, Hae Won Park, Cynthia Breazeal | E14-359

Artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere. Embodied in technology devices such as personal robots, mobile phones, and wearables, today’s AI has enabled smart, interactive tools for better health, well-being, education, entertainment, and more. In this brief tutorial, we will introduce the latest advances in personalized AI systems designed to better understand us and deliver unique interaction to each individual. We will take a deep dive into the intersection of machine learning, interaction design, and personalization strategies with example applications in healthcare and education. Come share your interests and application domains—we will help brainstorm and personalize your AI solutions!

PlusMinus: Creatively exploring impact and equity at (and after) the Media Lab

Michael Bove, Hildreth England | E14-244

Ride-sharing, social media, and artificial intelligence are examples of socially beneficial, net-positive technologies that have shown us a dark side of a move-fast, break-things ethos: in visible or invisible ways, these technologies have also had unexpectedly—and disproportionately—negative effects on some of society’s most vulnerable citizens. As part of the Media Lab's continuing investigation into complex, adaptive systems, PlusMinus is exploring how to creatively repair the inequitable harms these technologies are doing to the least powerful, and prepare future technologists with the skills to reflect on, critique, and design technologies that mitigate future harm for maximum positive impact—before they’re deployed. Join faculty, students, other members, and the Media Lab community as we discuss radically re-casting design and evaluation processes both in the Lab and outside it, to support the PlusMinus vision of shaping things for good, for everyone. 

Schoenberg in Hollywood gallery tour

Tod Machover | E14-Lobby | 3:30-4:00 and 4:30-5:00

The Boston Lyric Opera just announced the commission for Tod Machover’s next opera, called Schoenberg in Hollywood. The premiere will be in November 2018 in Boston. Explore an exhibition of the world-renowned composer Arnold Schoenberg's life in the lobby of E14.

The X Factory: From research to manufacturing and back

Jifei Ou, IDEO | E15-341

With advances in manufacturing hardware and design software, it's time to rethink how we could (or should) make everything, across scales and at scales. Manufacturing, as the center of industrial innovation, has been less discussed in an academic context. How can we bridge the gap between research ideas and manufacturing challenges? This  workshop starts with a brief introduction to research projects from the Media Lab that envision the future of the factory floor. We will then ask member companies to share their manufacturing challenges. Based on their input, we will host a brainstorming session on the future of assembly, from the nano- and meso- to the macroscale, which may provide new insights into those challenges. Keywords include: additive manufacturing, reconfigurable factory, distributed manufacturing, metamaterials at scale, AI-assisted manufacturing, and more. The workshop will be based on cases from your field—please bring your questions and challenges with you!

Novel biofeedback systems to explore and improve performance in the workplace

Nataliya Kosmyna | E15-466

Our everyday work is becoming increasingly complex and cognitively demanding. We spend hours upon hours at desks, in offices, in meetings, speaking to and collaborating with colleagues. But how many of those hours are productive? How can we make the most of them and become more successful? Many factors—personal, professional, and psychological—shape how we think, feel, and act while performing our work tasks, which ultimately affects our productivity and success. In this workshop, we look at some of these factors, particularly the physiological sensing of one’s own body, in order to gain insights into how we can track and boost our attention, engagement, and other cognitive processes. Potential applications might include achievement of better work-life balance and fostering creative jobs, as well as predicting “boring” tasks. We will argue that sustainable human high performance could become the principle differentiator when it comes to automation, augmentation, and agility. 

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