Tag Index  /  Showing 1 - 15 of 15 results for “MIT”

Life Science

Your Garden Is About to Go Bionic

Imagine shrubs monitoring pollution levels, weeds storing electronic devices, and flowers detecting explosives and chemical weapons. Sounds like science fiction, but bionic plant life is not as far-fetched as you might think, according to new research from M.I.T. In the emerging field of plant nanobiotics, researchers are studying plants' potential as technology platforms. By embedding various nanomaterials within plant cell structures, research shows, run-of-the-mill plant life can be transformed into high-tech sensors, monitors, and energy producers. "The potential is really endless," M.I.T. researcher Michael Strano told M.I.T. News.   More

Business Digital

Will the Internet of Things Undermine Capitalism?

Jeremy Rifkin writes in the New York Times about the future of the collaborative, sharing, free economy, making some original new points. Most notably, he argues that because the Internet of Things will radically accelerate the growth of sharing and efficiency, it will implicitly lead to a reduction in capitalism itself and a further rise in the importance of non-profit institutions. The rise of "free goods," tackled directly at Techonomy 2012 by MIT economist Erik Brynolffson, is in Rifkin's opinion now going to extend well beyond the digital and virtual (where things like Gmail, this website, and innumerable other free opportunities are available). Rifkin argues that capitalism, while it has a future, will become a "niche" part of the economy. Philanthropy and NGOs may become much more central to all of our notions of social leadership and economic health.   More

Energy & Green Tech

Can Drones Help Scrub China’s Filthy Skies?

Just how bad is China’s air pollution? A recent M.I.T. study concluded that a huge swath of the Chinese population is losing an average of five years in life expectancy due to pollution. The Chinese government is getting serious about the issue, and not just because the thick smog actually interferes with domestic surveillance efforts. China's pollution has become a source of national embarrassment and outrage, with Chinese scientists comparing it to a nuclear winter. The government is now escalating the use of drones to fight its recently declared “war on pollution.” In a plan reminiscent of the futuristic geo-engineering discussed at Techonomy 2012, aircraft disperse chemicals that freeze pollutants, making them fall to the ground. But what becomes of this solidified smog, not to mention the chemicals, once it's been scrubbed from the sky?   More

Learning

Can Higher Ed Survive the Threat of MOOCs?

Massively open online courses are bringing creative destruction to the higher education industry, and incumbents must reconfigure their value chains to survive. MOOCs, as they’re known, are free online courses that use pre-recorded, asynchronous lectures, discussion boards, and peer-grading to reach hundreds of thousands of concurrent students. Among the non-profit MOOC platforms is the edX platform, which includes courses from MIT, Harvard, the University of California, Berkeley. It is funded by the Gates Foundation and Google, among others.   More

Global Tech Government

Using Tech to Anticipate Tornado Strikes

Approximately 16 minutes before the massive twister struck Oklahoma on Monday, meteorologists used satellites and radars to issue a tornado warning in Oklahoma City. Sixteen minutes may not be much time—but it’s certainly a major advance from 30 years ago, when the average lead time was five minutes. In the 1950s, it was even illegal to predict tornadoes because of the uncertainty and panic that could result from a false forecast. Those 11 additional minutes likely saved more lives as people burrowed into safety shelters and basements. But imagine if they had as much as 30 minutes or more.   More

Digital

Capturing the Value of Technology—in Economic Terms

When you look at economic statistics like G.D.P. and productivity, what gets overlooked? According to a New York Times column by Eduardo Porter, these key measures fail to capture the value people get from digital technologies. But leading academics from the University of Chicago, Stanford, M.I.T., and the University of Michigan are developing metrics to assess the overall value of technology on our lives, trying to put numbers around key pieces of the puzzle, like the value of the Internet and the value of free online services.   More

Energy & Green Tech Jobs Manufacturing

Deloitte’s Chris Park: 3D Printing for Cleaner and Leaner U.S. Manufacturing

Revitalizing manufacturing is essential to U.S. economic recovery, but it’s not clear yet how this new phase might look. One thing is certain: it won’t look anything thing like manufacturing did 15 or even 5 years ago. PARC CEO Stephen Hoover has spoken at Techonomy events about how innovations like 3D printing and crowdsourcing can drive a paradigm shift in manufacturing. But can a new American manufacturing approach also be eco-friendly? Techonomy spoke with Chris Park, a principal at Deloitte who helps clients with their environmental, social, and sustainability performance, about how next-generation manufacturing technology could reduce environmental impact and bring jobs back to the U.S.   More

Life Science

Online Gamers Could Play Their Way to Breakthrough Science

Can untrained gamers help solve tough scientific puzzles? Some scientists and researchers are starting to think so. In fact, there are problems that professional scientists admit they are helpless to solve without the help of the "crowd." EyeWire is a game designed by a team at MIT's Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department to help chart nerve connections in the brain. "We need an army of people to go out and explore that jungle," said neuroscientist Sebastian Seung, the team's leader, in an NPR report. "Why not engage the public? It's a great adventure. What could be more exciting than exploring the brain? [It's] much more exciting than any artificial video game." About 35,000 players have already registered at eyewire.org to look at images of neurons in the eye and figure out how they're connected.   More

Government

Green Card Policy Could Blunt U.S. Edge in Startup Innovation

At last year's Techonomy Detroit conference, salesforce.com's Vivek Kundra, who from 2009 to 2011 was the first U.S. Chief Information Officer, lamented the disconnect between an education system that attracts the world's best and brightest and an immigration system that prevents them from working here legally. "It is broken," said Kundra. "It makes absolutely no sense when we educate some of the smartest people in the world with advanced degrees and then ask them to leave the country and go start up companies elsewhere." A recent article by Kevin Sullivan in The Washington Post highlights this conundrum with a profile of two MIT inventors, Anurag Bajpayee and Prakash Narayan, whose water-decontamination technology has attracted serious interest from investors, but whose visas both expire soon.   More

Management Manufacturing

Making Robots Better Team Players

Humans are intelligent, yet unpredictable. Robots are programmed to be predictably logical. Can they get along? These days they don't have much of a choice, as robots increasingly perform human tasks and work with human teams. As reported in SmartPlanet, researchers at MIT are examining ways to establish trustworthy and efficient relationships between humans and robots, using a cross training approach to team building. Their research shows that teams in which a robot and its human partner swap roles on different days become more efficient.   More

Manufacturing

Can Robots Be Job Creators?

In their recent comments on "60 Minutes," and at the Techonomy 2012 conference, MIT economists Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfssonn may have given the impression that robots are poised to swipe the jobs of U.S. workers. As reported in The New York Times, robotics experts assembled at the Automate 2013 trade show in Chicago offered a different outlook. Henrik I. Christensen, Chair of Robotics at the Georgia Institute of Technology, said that while he agrees that automation could make certain types of jobs obsolete, it will also create new, higher-paying jobs. The International Federation of Robotics reinforced this argument with the release of findings from a report that predicts the robotics industry will help create 1.9 million to 3.5 million jobs by 2020.   More

Techonomy Tucson Video

Meet Baxter: The Robot That Will Take Your Job

Who’s your biggest competition for that new job? Turns out, it could be a robot named Baxter. This humanoid robot, created by Rodney Brooks and his team at Rethink Robotics, is easy to program and costs only $22,000. At the Techonomy conference in Tucson, Ariz., Brooks joined MIT research scientist Andrew McAfee to talk about how robots will change our lives.   More

Learning Partner Insights Techonomy Tucson

Why Gaming Is Working in Higher Ed

As a planet, we spend 7 billion hours a week playing video and computer games, and about 5 million of us are playing an average of 45 hours a week. It is no surprise that educators are taking a serious look at gaming theory and “badging” in the classroom to increase student engagement and motivation. Top tech institutions such as MIT acknowledge that the persistence, risk-taking, attention to detail, and problem solving commonly observed among game players are all “behaviors that would be regularly demonstrated at school.”   More

Learning

STEM Knowledge an Increasing Necessity for All Workers

STEM skills aren't just for job-hunters in tech fields. As reported in SmartPlanet, Dr. Richard Larson of MIT believes that STEM literacy goes far deeper than understanding numbers, formulas, and gadgetry.   More

Business Jobs Techonomy Tucson Video

Erik Brynjolfsson Argues that Tech is Major Driver of Economic Growth

In this session from Techonomy 2011, in Tuscon, Ariz., Erik Brynjolfsson, Director of the Center for Digital Business at MIT, argues that technology is a major driver of economic growth and productivity. Any lag in productivity, he says, is due to our inability to keep up with the changes in technology. This is Brynjolfsson's argument in a debate with Tyler Cowen, an economics professor at George Mason University.   More