Board Director, Trustee, Scholar
2020 MIT School of Engineering Inaugural Visiting Scholar
Former COO of IBM Research
MIT Director, the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab
Director, MIT Quest Corporate
Professor, Nuclear Science and Engineering
Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
Lead, Center for Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Raytheon Technologies
FCAS, Senior Director, Analytics Transformation, GRS AA Hub at Liberty Mutual Insurance
Head of AI and Advanced Analytics, Vale
Intel Fellow, Director of Human & AI Systems Research Lab, Intel
Dibner Professor, History of Engineering and Manufacturing
Professor, Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems
Founder & CEO, Humatics
Bisplinghoff Professor, Aeronautics & Astronautics
Director of Quest Systems Engineering, MIT Quest for Intelligence
Chief Innovation Officer, Aurora Flight Sciences, A Boeing Company
Chief Information & Innovation Officer, Ferrovial
Executive Vice President of Research and Development
Total transition to full autonomy in manufacturing is unlikely. While “lights out”, fully-automated factories requiring no input have long been a utopian/dystopian vision for the future, even the most automated electronics or production plants still require a large number of workers to set up, maintain, repair, and spearhead the innovation of equipment. Production systems must constantly adapt to rapidly changing conditions. With current technology and even developments in AI, human presence is often superior at providing that flexibility - which will likely remain the case for years to come.
In this talk, David Mindell, MIT Professor and CEO/Founder of Humatics, will discuss how automation has evolved the manufacturing industry, the critical technologies playing a role in this transformation – including the Humatics microlocation platform, which is driving productivity and safety by providing full visibility into intralogistics vehicle operations – and why full autonomy in manufacturing is a distant, unlikely future.
The remarkable progression of innovations that imbue machines with human and superhuman capabilities is generating significant uncertainty and deep anxiety about the future of work. Whether and how our current period of technological disruption differs from prior industrial epochs is a source of vigorous debate. But there is no question that we face an urgent sense of collective concern about how to harness these technological innovations for social benefit. To meet this challenge, the Institute launched the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future in spring 2018.
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.