Clayton Christensen, the well known HBS professor, once said that MIT has the highest density of creativity on the planet. Every time I spend a day at MIT I come to the same conclusion. Two observations inspired by things at MIT last week:
- In the early days of artificial intelligence (AI) the focus was on the algorithms as the means to make AI productive. This approach proved only marginally effective and AI adoption grew slowly. Recently with the improvement in large database infrastructure and the exponential growth in digital data, researchers have realized that it was the lack of data rather than immature algorithms that was holding back the growth in AI. There are many implications to the accelerating use of AI. One that intrigues me is that computers will increasingly identify the "value" in the data and that this value will be commercialized and subsequently marginalized much faster. Therefore, the opportunity to create large value will increasingly come from outside the bounds of current knowledge, outside the data set. While this has always been true, the easier opportunities in the existing data may quickly be disappearing.
- Arthur Schopenhauer, the well known 19th century German philosopher, said that music and art make physical the emotions. In most real time digital media one of the challenges is interpreting the emotions and changes in emotional state of the other party. Researchers at the MIT Media Lab are developing sensors to capture and communicate changes in emotion from all parts of the body. Their most well known demonstration is their opera, "Death and the Powers". A possible commercialization of the technology would be for Skype participants to wear sensors during a call.
Wonder if Schopenhauer would have received a Ph.D from MIT?