FuturICT Workshop at the MIT MEDIA LAB

WHERE: MIT Media Lab, E14-6th Floor, 75 Amherst Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

WHEN: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 to Thursday, February 14, 2013

Main Topics for discussion will be:
We will highlight `state of the art' work within the US and EU for building a `Nervous System for Humanity' combining world-wide sensing, human behavior modeling, and responsive large scale infrastructure systems. Discussions will be around alignment of EU projects in this area with those in the USA, perhaps setting a common agenda under the EU Horizon 2020 umbrella.

additional information


Please RSVP by Wednesday, February 6 using the form below or by sending email to




Previous Events

Interdisciplinary Workshop on Information and Decision in Social Networks
November 8 - 9, 2012

Rob Miller
Rob Milller

Speaker: Rob Miller, MIT
Where: E15-383 (third floor original Media Lab building)
When: 4pm, Wednesday, May 16(refreshments served)
Title: Crowd Computing and Human Computation Algorithms

Crowd computing harnesses the power of people out in the web to do tasks that are hard for individual users or computers to do alone. Like cloud computing, crowd computing offers elastic, on-demand human resources that can drive new applications and new ways of thinking about technology. This talk will describe several prototype systems we have built, including:

- Soylent, a Word plugin that crowdsources text editing tasks;

- VizWiz, an app that helps blind people see using a crowd's eyes;

- Adrenaline, a camera shutter driven by crowd perception;

- Caesar, a system for code reviewing by a crowd of programmers;

- TurKit, a toolkit for prototyping "human computation algorithms" on top of Amazon Mechanical Turk.

Crowd computing raises new challenges at the intersection of systems and HCI, including minimizing latency, improving quality of work, and providing the right incentives to the crowd. The talk will discuss the design space and the techniques we have developed to address some of these problems. We are now in a position where "Wizard of Oz" is no longer just a prototyping technique -- thanks to crowd computing, Wizard of Oz systems can be useful and deployable.

Rob Miller is an associate professor of computer science at MIT CSAIL. He earned his PhD from Carnegie Mellon University (2002), and has won an ACM Distinguished Dissertation honorable mention, NSF CAREER award, and six best paper awards at UIST and USENIX. His research interests lie at the intersection of programming and human computer interaction: making programming easier for end-users (web end-user programming), making it more productive for professionals (HCI for software developers), and making humans part of the programming system itself (crowd computing and human computation).

Previous Events:

Sep Kamvar
Sepandar Kamvar

Speaker: Sep Kamvar, MIT
Where: E15-383 (third floor original Media Lab building)
When: 4pm, Wednesday, May 9 (refreshments served)
Title: Two Problems in Social Computing

Social computing has come to refer both to the development of algorithms that use social data, and systems that interact with networks of people.  These two branches tend to have quite different technical challenges.  I'll discuss one problem from each area to highlight both the differences and the overlap between the two branches, and I'll discuss the challenges that this new field poses to research in numerical linear algebra, machine learning, human-computer interaction, and programming languages.

Sep Kamvar is the LG Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT and Director of the Social Computing Group at the MIT Media Lab. His research focuses on social computing and information management.
Prior to MIT, Sep was the head of personalization at Google and a consulting professor of Computational and Mathematical Engineering at Stanford University. Prior to that, he was founder and CEO of Kaltix, a personalized search company that was acquired by Google in 2003.

Sep is the author of two books and over 40 technical publications in the fields of search and social computing. His artwork has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Musem in London, and the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens.

Sep received his Ph.D. in Scientific Computing and Computational Mathematics from Stanford University and his A.B. in Chemistry from Princeton University.

Speaker: Sanjeev Goyal, University of Cambridge
Where: 32-D677
When: 4pm, Wednesday, April 25
Title: Resilient Networks

Connections between firms, banks, cities, consumers and countries shape the flows of ideas, resources, goods and services. These connections also facilitate the spread of attacks, viruses and shocks. How doe this tension in the role of connections shapes the incentives to form connections, and design and defend networks.

A key feature in applications is that linking activity and investments in security and protection are purposeful and take into account the activities of others. In some contexts threats or attacks are random (as in liquidity shocks to banks), while in others the threat come from an ``intelligent'' adversary (hackers or the enemy military). As we vary the decision making powers on links, protection and security and the nature of the threats, we trace out an ensemble of theoretical scenarios.

The talk will provide a survey of recent research on models of network design and defence.

Short bio:
Sanjeev Goyal, Profesor of Economics at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge, was educated at the University of Delhi and the Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedebad) in India, and at Cornell University in the United States. He has previously held professorial appointments at the Econometric Institute, Erasmus University, the University of London and the University of Essex.

Sanjeev Goyal's area of research is microeconomics. He is a pioneer and leading scholar in the economic study of networks with publications in leading journals such as Econometrica, Journal of Political Economy, American Economic Review, and the Review of Economic Studies.

His book, Connections: an introduction to the economics of networks, was published by Princeton University Press in 2007. A Chinese translation appeared in 2010.

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