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Conference Details - Agenda

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2018 MIT Information and Communication Technologies Conference

April 11-12, 2018

Day 1: Wednesday, April 11, 2018


Registration and Breakfast


Welcome and Introduction


Data Science and Artificial Intelligence at IDSS
The mission of IDSS is to advance education and research in state-of-the-art, analytical methods in information and decision systems; statistics and data science; and the social sciences, and to apply these methods to address complex societal challenges in a diverse set of areas such as finance, energy systems, urbanization, social networks, and health.

Session 1: Enabling Platforms


The Challenge of Medical Artificial Intelligence
Medicine presents a particular problem for creating artificial intelligence (AI), because the issues and tasks involved are surprisingly subjective. Valid and useful AI requires not only reliable, unbiased, and extensive data, but also objective definitions and intentions. Assistance is most needed in day-to-day complex decision-making that requires data synthesis and integration, tasks we now approach with clinical intuition. This process is generally accepted as representing the ‘art’ of medicine despite being riddled with cognitive biases and often based on large information gaps. Resolving the subjectivity of medicine with the objectivity required for digitization—and the secondary creation of AI—first involves resolution of a number of questions: What do we want to do? What do we need to do? What can we do?
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Build AI Products Faster, Cheaper
Attempts to embed machine learning-based predictive models to make products smarter, faster, cheaper, and more personalized will dominate activity in the technology industry for the foreseeable future. Veeramachaneni and MIT researchers are proposing a paradigm shift from the current practice of creating machine learning models that requires months-long discovery, exploration and “feasibility report” generation, followed by re-engineering for deployment, in favor of a rapid 8 week long process of development, understanding, validation and deployment that can executed by developers or subject matter experts using reusable APIs.
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MIT Professional Education - Education Partner of ILP
MIT Professional Education (http://web.mit.edu/professional) provides a gateway to MIT expertise and knowledge for science and engineering professionals around the world. Through MIT Professional Education programs taught by renowned faculty from across the Institute, technical professionals have the opportunity to gain crucial and timely knowledge in specialized fields, to advance their careers, boost their organization performance, and help make a difference in the world.

ILP members receive a 15 percent discount on all MIT Professional Education Short Programs and Digital Programs at time of registration.
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Networking Break


MIT Solve
Solve is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that advances lasting solutions from tech entrepreneurs to address the world's most pressing problems. Solve issues four Challenges each year across its pillars—Economic Prosperity, Health, Learning, and Sustainability—to find the most promising Solver class to drive transformational change. Solve then deploys its global community of private, public, and nonprofit leaders to form partnerships these Solver teams need to scale their impact. Last year, more than 1,000 people from 103 countries submitted solutions to Solve’s four challenges. Solve’s open Challenges include: (1) Work of the Future, (2) Frontlines of Health, (3) Coastal Communities, and (4) Teachers and Educators. Join the community at solve.mit.edu.
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MIT Cheetah Robot: A New Design Paradigm for Physical Interaction
Recent technological advances in legged robots are opening up a new era of mobile robotics. In particular, legged robots have a great potential to help during disaster situations or with elderly care services. To allow for dynamic physical interactions with environments, the hardware/software design requirements of mobile robots differ from manufacturing robots (which are designed for maximum stiffness to allow for accurate and rapid position tracking without contact). Events such as the Fukushima power plant explosion highlight the need for robots that can traverse various terrains and perform dynamic physical tasks in unpredictable environments. Kim will discuss the new mobile robot design paradigm, the control algorithms for Cheetah robot version 2 and version 3, and the role of bio-inspiration in designing legged robots. Finally, Kim will compare solutions from both an engineering and biological perspective.
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MIT Startup Exchange: Introduction and Lightning Talks

MIT Startup Exchange actively promotes collaboration and partnerships between MIT-connected startups and industry. Qualified startups are those founded and/or led by MIT faculty, staff, or alumni, or are based on MIT-licensed technology. Industry participants are principally members of MIT’s Industrial Liaison Program (ILP).

MIT Startup Exchange maintains a propriety database of over 1,500 MIT-connected startups with roots across MIT departments, labs and centers; it hosts a robust schedule of startup workshops and showcases, and facilitates networking and introductions between startups and corporate executives.

STEX25 is a startup accelerator within MIT Startup Exchange, featuring 25 “industry ready” startups that have proven to be exceptional with early use cases, clients, demos, or partnerships, and are poised for significant growth. STEX25 startups receive promotion, travel, and advisory support, and are prioritized for meetings with ILP’s 230 member companies.

MIT Startup Exchange and ILP are integrated programs of MIT Corporate Relations.

Lightning Talks
Catalant Technologies, Patrick Petitti, Cofounder and CEO
Catalia Health, Cory D. Kidd, Cofounder & CEO
Cogito, CTO and Cofounder, Ali Azarbayejani
IQ3Connect, Ali Merchant, Founder
Near Field Magnetics, David McManus, Cofounder and CEO
serviceMob, Anuj Bhalla, Founder and CEO
TVision Insights, Dan Schiffman, Cofounder & CRO

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Session 2: New Experiences


Future will be Measured in Nanometers
The nano age is upon us. With nanoscale advancements we are reimagining health and life sciences, energy, computing, information technology, manufacturing, and quantum science. Nano is not a specific technology. It does not belong to a particular industry or discipline, it is, rather, a revolutionary way of understanding and working with matter, and it is the key to launching the next innovation age…the nano age.


Redefining Small Business Lending through ML and Social Physics
SMEs are the backbone of most economies and employ approximately 60 percent of the working population in OECD countries. However, these businesses often struggle the most to access financing, oftentimes, relying on friends and family to help them flourish and thrive by lending money when others do not. We have created Trust·u to offer a solution to this. Trust·u is an internal venturing effort from BBVA, positioned to address innovation opportunities in an agile manner by mimicking startups. We utilize a digital platform to enable rapid on-boarding and underwriting, combining social elements with financial data, to grant small businesses access to financing based on a new risk assessment model, which takes full advantage of ML techniques and new data sources.
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Networking Break


Transforming Nanotechnologies into Applications
While trillions of sensors connected to the “Internet of Everything” (IoE) promise to transform our lives, they simultaneously pose major obstacles, which we are already encountering today. Max Shulaker presents a path towards realizing these future systems in the near-term, and shows how based on the progress of several emerging nanotechnologies (carbon nanotubes for logic, non-volatile memories for data storage, and new materials for sensing), we can begin realizing these systems today.


Designed for Digital: How Established Companies Will Compete in the Digital Economy
Technologies like analytics, cloud computing, and the internet of things are creating new industries and driving new ways of doing business. But ironically, the digital business success is not about technology. It?s about rethinking your value proposition. More importantly, it?s about delivering a new value proposition to your customers?one that is inspired by the capabilities of technology. Companies born in the pre-digital economy are not designed to deliver digital value propositions. They must re-architect their business?structures, roles, systems, data, and processes?to enable rapid innovation and business integration. For big companies especially, such a redesign is a long and arduous journey. This session describes the journey and offers insights from MIT CISR research into how companies can successfully navigate it.
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Networking Reception

Day 2: Thursday, April 12, 2018


Registration and Breakfast


Welcome Back

Session 3: The Future of Work


Superminds: The Surprising Power of People and Computers Thinking Together
If you're like most people, you probably believe that humans are the most intelligent animals on our planet. But there's another kind of entity that can be far smarter: groups of people. In this talk, Thomas Malone shows how groups of people working together in superminds -- like hierarchies, markets, democracies, and communities -- have been responsible for almost all human achievements in business, government, science, and beyond. Malone also shows how computers can help create more intelligent superminds simply by connecting humans to one another in a variety of ways. Artificially intelligent computers will also amplify the power of these superminds by doing increasingly complex kinds of thinking. By understanding how these collectively intelligent groups work, we can learn how to harness their genius to achieve our human goals.
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The Civic Supermind
The innovation economy has profoundly transformed politics, economics, and society, yet its effects have only just begun to manifest in the physical space of cities. Although innovation holds the promise of addressing many challenges of a globalized, urbanized, and climate-changed planet, the present trends in city-technology and city-making demonstrate how this can also threaten regulation and policy, exacerbate economic inequality, and fray the social fabric of place. Matthew Claudel explores these opportunities and frictions. Atomization, distributed networks, and real-time platform markets have opened new territory for urban technology and city-making – what could be thought of as The Civic Supermind. This is an approach to urban technology that encompasses place-based modes of social organization; innovation in policy, regulation, and codes; and the creation of new place-based capital structures. It connects technology to people in place.
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Networking Break


Civic Faith and Meaningful Inefficiencies
Trusting any data set or analysis requires a leap of faith. Beyond an acceptance of margins of error and biases, all data-driven decisions necessitate a will to believe. When it comes to data that impacts or justifies institutional decisions, this belief must exist not only in the institution's ability to be honest and rigorous with data, but in the very authority of data itself to tell us something meaningful about the world. In an era of “alternative facts” and fear-based advocacy, we must contend with this; but it may also sometimes be a symptom of data tunnel vision. How can we be better at designing the conditions for people to develop faith in our (and their) ability to do good things with data? And how can purposefully-deployed inefficiencies improve the resilience of human systems?
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Go See: Looking for Future Talent in Your Current Workforce
Five years ago, Sharon Goh started collecting stories of drive, determination, and grit, beginning with the 15-person customer support team she managed. She asked questions about how they got there and found stories of loss, pain, fear, joy, and success. These were amazing stories that needed to be told and that deeply impacted her as an executive, opening her eyes to the future of work and the power that managers have to influence it. In this talk, she will share a preview of these stories, including common themes and some of the ah-ha moments during this process. Can you drive change starting from the ground up? How do you listen and how do you prepare today for what is coming tomorrow? Her hope is to inspire individuals to rethink the future of work.
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People, Robots, and the Work of the Future
As autonomous systems move out of the research laboratory into operational environments, they require ever deeper connections to their surroundings. Traditional notions of full autonomy have led to “clockwork” approaches where robots must be isolated from their human surroundings. Instead, we need precise, robust relationships with people and infrastructure. This situated autonomy appears in driverless cars' dependence on human-built infrastructure, the need for new systems of unmanned traffic management in the air, and the increasing importance of collaborative robotics in factories. How can we best design such systems to inhabit and enhance the human world? In this talk, David Mindell sketches a number of these emerging scenarios, traces new technologies to address the problems they raise, and envisions new approaches to human and robotic interaction that helps people and robots work together safely and collaboratively.
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Adjournment with Boxed Lunch