MIT Media Lab
EmTech is your opportunity to discover future trends and to understand the technologies that will drive the new global economy.
It's where tech, business, and culture converge, and where you gain access to the most innovative people and companies in the world.
Our flagship EmTech event will examine this year’s most significant news on emerging technologies.
This Year's Themes
- The Democratization of AI
Technical advances are making it possible for non-experts to apply AI in their work, accelerating the pace at which new AI solutions are deployed. The pace of automation that this technology is fueling will reach every corner of the global economy.
- Global View: Innovation in the AI Era
Artificial-intelligence technologies are driving economic growth in every region. The rapid pace of automation that this technology is fueling brings discussions around ethics and governance to the forefront, as we work to ensure that the next wave of innovation will benefit us all.
- Sustainable Energy
The central issue of our day is the search for sustainable, affordable energy sources to power a growing and increasingly connected global population. We will examine the most innovative new approaches to meet fast-growing global demand for clean energy.
- Our Data, Ourselves: Gene Sequencing
With the rise in popularity of at-home DNA testing kits and growing databases of genetic information, highly sophisticated data is now more accessible than ever. How will we define acceptable applications, as well as genetic data ownership?
- The Future (of Computing) Is Quantum
Quantum computers are on the cusp of commercialization. What is quantum computing, and what will it be capable of?
- Promise and Perils of Blockchain
Can cryptocurrencies play a serious role in the world financial system? We assess their potential in the global economy.
- Innovators Under 35
Innovators Under 35 is an annual list that recognizes outstanding innovators, spanning a wide range of technologies, whose groundbreaking work promises to shape their fields in the coming decades. EmTech MIT is our chance to recognize the development of new technology or the creative application of existing technologies to solve the world’s biggest problems.
EmTech: where tech, business, and culture converge
Hear from technology and business leaders driving the new global economy
CEO, Accion Systems
2018 Innovator Under 35: A system to propel tiny satellites using electrical energyNatalya Bailey is the CEO and a cofounder of Accion Systems, a company providing in-space propulsion for satellites and spacecraft. An Oregon native, Natalya moved to Cambridge to complete her doctorate in space propulsion at MIT, where she helped invent the first working prototype of an ion engine technology for small satellites, which would become the first product at Accion. Before coming to MIT, she invented a new chemical rocket technology that she turned into a space startup. Natalya was a New England Entrepreneur of the Year finalist in 2017 and a Boston Business Journal Woman to Watch in 2017, and she was named to Inc. magazine’s 30 Under 30 list in 2017 and Forbes’s 30 Under 30 list in 2016. During graduate school, she was a National Science Foundation Fellow and a NASA Ambassador to the US at the International Aeronautical Congress. In her free time, she works with kids through the group YouthCITIES. She is also learning to program in Python with her husband.
Cofounder and Chief Science Officer, AesculaTech
2018 Innovator Under 35: She invented materials that can heal eyes by sealing up traumatic injuriesNiki is an engineer and entrepreneur who has made important contributions to chemical and biomedical engineering with a multitude of applications for ophthalmological and medical devices. During her PhD research, she developed ground-breaking biomedical devices including an injectable hydrogel for sealing eye injuries, another wound sealant in the form of a reversible thermo-responsive adhesive patch, and smart hydrogels that provide a unique platform for drug delivery. The research that led to development of the injectable hydrogel sealant was featured on the cover of Science Translational Medicine. Currently, together with a team of scientists and engineers, she is in the process of commercializing another one of her inventions through the company she cofounded, AesculaTech. They are working to develop a platform of thermally responsive materials for sustainable, localized drug delivery. This work is particularly effective for patients who need to administer eye drops daily.
Preparing for Industrial AIGanesh Bell is the president of Uptake, the industrial AI and IoT software leader. A proven entrepreneur, Bell has held executive positions across a rare mix of global giants, industry leaders, startups, and hyper-growth companies. In 2017, he was named No. 11 in Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business. Bell came to Uptake from GE, where he was the first-ever chief digital officer. As CEO of GE Power Digital, he built the largest and fastest-growing industrial internet business, kick-starting the digital transformation of GE’s customers. Previously, Bell was chief products officer and EVP at ServiceSource and guided the company through a successful IPO. He created YouCentric’s leading CRM products and led its core development to successful acquisition by J.D. Edwards. Bell holds a BS in mathematics from the University of Madras, India, and an MS in computer science from North Dakota State University.
CEO and Publisher, MIT Technology ReviewElizabeth Bramson-Boudreau is the CEO and publisher of MIT Technology Review, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s media company. MIT Technology Review’s analysis, features, interviews, and events explain the impact of new technologies on business and society.
Elizabeth is leading the growth, expansion, and modernization of MIT Technology Review’s media platforms and products, including U.S. and international websites, newsletters, events, and an award-winning print magazine. Elizabeth also serves as chair of the global entrepreneurial network MIT Enterprise Forum.
Elizabeth has a 20-year background in building and running teams at world-leading media companies. She maintains a keen focus on new ways to commercialize media content to appeal to discerning, demanding consumers as well as B2B audiences.
Prior to joining MIT Technology Review, Elizabeth was the global managing director of the Economist Corporate Network (whose parent company publishes The Economist magazine), where she led editorial content creation, sales, marketing, and event operations. She also spent a decade working as a consultant.
Elizabeth holds an executive MBA from the London Business School, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College.
Founder, Algorithmic Justice League
2018 Innovator Under 35: When AI misclassified her face, she started a movement for accountabilityJoy Buolamwini is a poet of code who uses art and research to illuminate the social implications of artificial intelligence (AI). She founded the Algorithmic Justice League to fight the coded gaze-bias in AI. At the MIT Media Lab, she pioneered techniques that are now leading to increased transparency in the use of facial analysis technology globally. Her TED Talk on algorithmic bias has been viewed over 1 million times. More than 230 articles in over 37 countries have been written about her Gender Shades thesis work, which uncovered large accuracy disparities in commercial AI services. Joy is a Rhodes Scholar, Fulbright Fellow, and Google Anita Borg Scholar. She holds master’s degrees from Oxford University and MIT, and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is pursuing a doctorate degree at MIT aimed at participatory artificial intelligence.
Senior Advisor, Digital Currency Initiative, MIT Media Lab
Blockchain: A Reality CheckMichael Casey is a senior advisor at MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative, where his research explores the potential for blockchain technology to advance economic inclusion and improve energy efficiency. He is also a senior lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, the chairman of CoinDesk’s advisory board, and a founding member of the Global Blockchain Business Council. Before joining MIT, Casey spent 24 years as a journalist. His career started at the West Australian, progressed through four different continents, and ended in New York, where he was a global economics columnist for the Wall Street Journal. He is a frequent public speaker, a regular media commentator and the author of five books, the latest being The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything, written with Paul Vigna. Casey is a graduate of the University of Western Australia and has higher degrees from Curtin and Cornell universities.
Assistant Professor, UC Berkeley
2018 Innovator Under 35: A cryptocurrency that’s as private as cashAlessandro Chiesa joined UC Berkeley’s faculty in the summer of 2015, after spending one year as a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zürich.
Alessandro earned his MEng and PhD at MIT CSAIL. He also earned SB degrees in mathematics and computer science from MIT. While enrolled, he rowed for the heavyweight varsity crew team.
Born in Varese, Italy, he previously attended the European School of Varese, which awards students the European Baccalaureate.
Alessandro enjoys many outdoor sports, including biking, climbing, mountaineering, and running.
Faculty Director, Lemelson-MIT Program
Presented by the Lemelson-MIT ProgramDr. Michael J. Cima is the David H. Koch Professor of Engineering and a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has an appointment at the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. He earned a BS in chemistry in 1982 (phi beta kappa) and a PhD in chemical engineering in 1986, both from the University of California at Berkeley. Prof. Cima joined the MIT faculty in 1986 as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to full Professor in 1995. He was elected a Fellow of the American Ceramics Society in 1997. Prof. Cima was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2011. He holds the David H. Koch Chair of Engineering at MIT. He was appointed faculty director of the Lemelson-MIT Program in 2009. He was named Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2016. In 2018, he was named a co-director of MIT's Innovation Initiative and the associate dean of innovation for the School of Engineering.
Cofounder and President, COSY Robotics
2018 Innovator Under 35: Helping create the shopping robots of the near futureJonas Cleveland is an entrepreneur in AI and robotics. He holds several patents in computer vision, machine perception, and robot mapping and has published in several of the leading journals and conferences in robotics and automation. He is also cofounder and CEO/CTO of COSY, a spinout of the GRASP Lab at UPenn that brings AI and computer vision to the store floor for leading retailers. The company is venture-backed by Benjamin Franklin, Polis Ventures, and Intel Capital. Jonas has received multiple awards for his work in product development and entrepreneurship, including LinkedIn’'s Next Wave Award and Comcast’s Billy Penn Who’s Next Entrepreneurs. He has a degree from Carnegie Mellon in electrical and computer engineering and received his master’s at UPenn in robotics while starting COSY.
Executive Director, The Lemelson Foundation
Presented by the Lemelson-MIT ProgramDr. Carol Dahl is the Executive Director of The Lemelson Foundation. With a background in discovery sciences, innovation programs, and global health and development, Dr. Dahl leads the Foundation’s work to use the power of invention to improve lives.
Prior to joining the foundation in July 2011, Dahl worked for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in various roles, including founding Director of the Global Health Discovery Program and as Director of Staff for the overall Global Health Program. During her tenure at the Gates Foundation, Dahl built the platform discovery innovation programs Grand Challenges in Global Health and Grand Challenges Explorations. Previously, Dahl served as vice president for Strategic Partnerships at Biospect Inc. (now Pathworks Diagnostics). From 1990 to 2001, Dahl worked at the U.S. National Institutes of Health in several capacities, including founding Director of the Office of Technology and Industrial Relations at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Program Director at the National Center for Human Genome Research.
Dahl received a bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received postdoctoral training at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and the Immunobiology Research Center at the University of Minnesota and served on the faculty of the Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and University of Pittsburgh.
Assistant Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology
2018 Innovator Under 35: His method makes it possible to test 300 drugs at onceJames Dahlman is an assistant professor in the Georgia Tech Department of Biomedical Engineering, where his lab works at the interface of drug delivery, nanotechnology, genomics, and gene editing. James, who studied gene editing with Feng Zhang and RNA delivery with Robert Langer and Daniel Anderson, uses his unique background in high-throughput nanoparticle chemistry, in vivo RNA delivery, and genomics to design safer gene therapies. He has designed nanoparticles, being considered for clinical use, that deliver RNA to blood vessels in the heart and lung, and he has developed targeted combination therapies targeting five genes at once in vivo. His lab has also designed several high-throughput nanoparticle DNA bar-coding systems to measure how 200 different nanoparticles deliver drugs to cells. He has been named a Bayer Young Investigator and a Parkinson’s Disease Foundation Young Investigator. He has won numerous fellowships and research and teaching awards and was one of two Georgia Tech professors given the Women in Engineering Teaching Award in 2018. His work has been published in Nature Nano, Nature Biotech, Nature Cell Bio, Science Translational Medicine, Cell, PNAS, and other leading journals. He has given 55 invited talks around the world since he completed his PhD in 2014.
CEO, Via Separations
2018 Innovator Under 35: Her filtration system could eliminate much of the energy used in industrial separation processesShreya Dave graduated with her PhD in mechanical engineering from MIT and currently serves as the CEO of Via Separations. Her PhD research focused on the design and manufacturing of graphene oxide membranes for water desalination. Via Separations is scaling up and commercializing this material platform for use in industrial separation processes such as food ingredient production and chemical manufacturing. Shreya is passionate about creating things, educating people, and improving energy efficiency. She also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from MIT in mechanical engineering and Technology & Policy.
Chief Science Officer, The Climate Corporation
Is Machine Learning the Solution to the Global Food Crisis?Sam leads the science organization at the Climate Corporation, where he drives the company’s research and development efforts in data science, measurement, and field research. Sam’s connection to agriculture started young: he grew up on a grain and livestock farm in west-central Illinois. He has more than two decades of experience in plant breeding and global agricultural development, with nearly 60 publications and patents relating to advances in agricultural technology. Before joining the Climate Corporation, Sam led Monsanto’s Global Plant Breeding team, overseeing one of the largest, most integrated plant genetics programs in the world. He holds a BS, MS, and PhD in genetics and plant breeding from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.
Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
From Theory to Practice: AI for Societal ChallengesFei Fang is an assistant professor at the Institute for Software Research at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research lies in the field of artificial intelligence and multi-agent systems, focusing on game theory and machine learning, with applications to security, sustainability, and mobility. Her work won the Innovative Application Award at the Conference on Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence in 2016 and the Outstanding Paper Award in Computational Sustainability Track at the International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence in 2015, and her dissertation was selected as the runner-up for IFAAMAS-16 Victor Lesser Distinguished Dissertation Award. The US Coast Guard has used her research to guide patrol ships protecting the Staten Island Ferry since April 2013. Another project she was involved in, PAWS (Protection Assistant for Wildlife Security), provides predictive and prescriptive analysis for anti-poaching efforts in conservation areas around the world.
PhD Candidate, University of California, Berkeley
2018 Innovator Under 35: Her robots act like toddlers—watching adults, copying them in order to learnChelsea Finn is a fourth-year PhD student in computer science at UC Berkeley, where she works on machine learning and its intersection with robotic perception and control. She is a part of the Berkeley AI Research Lab (BAIR), advised by Pieter Abbeel and Sergey Levine. She recently spent time at Google Brain.
Before graduate school, Chelsea received a bachelor’s in EECS at MIT, where she worked on several research projects, including an assistive technology project in CSAIL under Seth Teller and an animal biometrics project under Sai Ravela. She has also spent time at Counsyl, Google, and Sandia National Labs.
Senior Manager, AI Challenges and Quantum Experiences, IBM
Democratizing Quantum Computing - Presented by IBMDr. Talia Gershon joined IBM Research in July of 2012 after earning her bachelor’s degree from MIT (2008) and her PhD from the University of Cambridge (2012), where she was a Gates Scholar. In the fall of 2016, Dr. Gershon was appointed to a position as technical assistant to Dr. Dario Gil, VP of AI and quantum computing at IBM Research. In this role she served to coordinate the intersection of research, IP, legal, operations, communications, and the IBM Research leadership team. Dr. Gershon now leads a team responsible for designing and building IBM’s roadmap of current and future cloud and web-based experiences for quantum computing and other key IBM Research areas, and manages IBM’s worldwide portfolio of AI research activities.
Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Vector Institute
2018 Innovator Under 35: Using AI to make sense of messy hospital dataMarzyeh Ghassemi is a visiting researcher with Google’s Verily and a postdoc in the Clinical Decision Making Group at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL), supervised by Dr. Peter Szolovits. She will join the University of Toronto as an assistant professor in computer science and medicine in fall 2018, and will be affiliated with the Vector Institute.
Marzyeh’s research focuses on machine learning with clinical data to predict and stratify relevant human risks, encompassing unsupervised learning, supervised learning, and structured prediction. Her work has been applied to estimating the physiological state of patients during critical illnesses, modeling the need for a clinical intervention, and diagnosing phonotraumatic voice disorders from wearable sensor data.
Her work has appeared in KDD, AAAI, IEEE TBME, MLHC, JAMIA, and AMIA-CRI; she has also co-organized the NIPS 2016 Machine Learning for Healthcare (ML4HC) and 2014 Women in Machine Learning (WIML) workshops. Before MIT, Marzyeh received BS degrees in computer science and electrical engineering as a Goldwater Scholar at New Mexico State University, worked at Intel, and received an MSc in biomedical engineering from Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar.
San Francisco Bureau Chief, MIT Technology ReviewMartin Giles is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of MIT Technology Review. Before assuming his current role, he was a partner at Wing Venture Capital, a Silicon Valley firm that invests in early stage business technology startups. Prior to Wing, Martin was The Economist Newspaper’s Silicon Valley Correspondent. Among his previous editorial roles at The Economist, he was the paper’s Banking Correspondent and Finance Editor. Martin is a Senior Industry Fellow at the University of California, Irvine’s Center For Digital Transformation and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Council On The Future Of Electronics. He is a graduate of Oxford University and holds an executive MBA from The University of Chicago’s Booth Graduate School of Business.
Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Michigan
Hacking DemocracyJ. Alex Halderman is a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan and director of Michigan’s Center for Computer Security and Society. His research spans security and privacy, applied cryptography, internet measurement, censorship resistance, and electronic voting, as well as the interaction of technology with politics and international affairs. Professor Halderman is widely known for his work on election cybersecurity, which includes numerous evaluations of real-world voting systems. After the 2016 election, he advised recount initiatives in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania in an effort to detect and deter cyberattacks. In 2017, he testified to the US Senate Intelligence Committee about threats to election infrastructure. Beyond voting, he cofounded Let’s Encrypt, a nonprofit that helps secure over 50 million websites, and Censys, a platform for monitoring and analyzing the internet’s attack surface. Popular Science named him one of the “brightest young minds reshaping science, engineering, and the world.”
2018 Innovator Under 35: Her tech nonprofit makes it easy for women to build a domestic-abuse case without a lawyerHera is the Founder of CHAYN, a global volunteer-run project crowdsourcing resources on the web to address gender-based violence. Born in Scotland, raised in Pakistan, and living in the UK, Hera knew from early on she wanted to empower women. She is a passionate believer in using the power of open-source technology and open data to solve the world’s pressing issues. When Hera isn’t running Chayn in her spare time, she works with governments and civil society to open data sets to fight corruption. She has been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
Chief Technology Officer, The Boeing Company
Launching a New Era in AerospaceDr. Greg Hyslop is the chief technology officer of Boeing and senior vice president of Boeing Engineering, Test & Technology. Hyslop oversees the development and implementation of the enterprise technology investment strategy, and his portfolio of responsibilities includes the companywide Boeing Engineering function; Boeing Research & Technology (BR&T), the company’s advanced central research and development organization; Boeing Test & Evaluation (BT&E), the team that verifies and validates Boeing’s commercial and defense products; and the Intellectual Property Management organization, which works to protect and strategically leverage the company’s intellectual property.
Hyslop has a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering and a master of science degree in mathematics from the University of Nebraska. He also has a doctor of science degree in systems science and mathematics from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as an adjunct professor.
Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
2018 Innovator Under 35: She solved a big problem in quantum computing by shrinking the componentsArchana Kamal’s research focuses on enabling quantum information technologies with systems that can exploit and control delicate quantum effects at macroscopic scales. During both her graduate studies at Yale and her postdoctoral work at MIT, Kamal actively worked at the interface of theoretical and experimental aspects of superconducting quantum circuits, which are currently the leading candidate among quantum computing platforms. While her experimental work enabled new high-coherence superconducting qubit designs, her theoretical work was instrumental in pioneering the field of “magnet-free nonreciprocity,” a crucial ingredient for on-chip signal processing and high-efficiency quantum measurements. She currently leads the QUEST group (for “Quantum Engineering Science and Technology”) at UMass Lowell, which strives to answer theoretical questions in areas such as use of large-scale entanglement for quantum computing, meeting and beating quantum limits of measurement, and simulating quantum effects in the early universe.
Professor of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Truth and Bias in the Age of AlgorithmsDr. Karahalios is a professor of Computer Science, a codirector of the Center for People and Infrastructures at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a senior research scientist at Adobe Research. Her main area of research is Social Computing, the study of computing systems where people interact in networked spaces. More recently, her research has focused on computer mediated interaction where algorithms play a role in the mediation. Her work has resulted in a book and over 100 publications in top-tier conferences. Dr. Karahalios completed an SB in Electrical Engineering, an MEng in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and an SM and PhD in Media Arts and Sciences at MIT. She has been awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship, a Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society Fellowship, a Kavli Fellowship, the A. Richard Newton Breakthrough Research Award, an NSF Early Career Award, and an NCSA Fellowship, among others.
Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT
AI in Industry: Intelligent Health CareDina Katabi is the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. She is also the director of MIT’s Center for Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a recipient of a MacArthur “genius award.” Professor Katabi received her PhD and MS from MIT in 2003 and 1999, and her BS from Damascus University in 1995. Her research focuses on innovative mobile and wireless technologies with particular application to digital health. Her research has been recognized by the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award, the SIGCOMM Test of Time Award, the Faculty Research Innovation Fellowship, a Sloan Fellowship, the NBX Career Development chair, and the NSF CAREER award. Her students have twice received the ACM Best Doctoral Dissertation Award in Computer Science and Engineering. Further, her work was recognized by the IEEE William R. Bennett prize, three ACM SIGCOMM Best Paper awards, an NSDI Best Paper award, and a TR10 award. Several startups, such as PiCharging and Emerald, have been spun out of her lab.
Senior Editor for AI, MIT Technology ReviewWill Knight is a senior editor at MIT Technology Review, covering artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, self-driving cars, and human-machine collaboration. Will grew up in London, and was previously an editor at New Scientist magazine in the UK.
Medical Researcher and Resident Physician, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
2018 Innovator Under 35: Medical images are so detailed it can be hard to decipher them; her program can spot what people can’tDr. Shinjini Kundu is a medical researcher and resident physician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Before becoming a medical doctor, Shinjini earned her BS and MS in electrical engineering from Stanford University and PhD from Carnegie-Mellon University. In her doctoral research, she developed an artificial-intelligence technique to examine medical images for latent signs of disease that are imperceptible to humans. Among the many applications of her diagnostic technology, her technique was shown to predict osteoarthritis in seemingly healthy patients three years before any symptoms appeared. She has given a TEDx talk on this work and was named a World Economic Forum Global Shaper.
Assistant Professor of Psychology and Data Science, New York University
2018 Innovator Under 35: Getting machines to learn in the fast and flexible ways that humans canBrenden M. Lake is an assistant professor of psychology and data science at New York University. His research focuses on computational problems that are easier for people than they are for machines, such as learning new concepts, creating new concepts, learning to learn, and asking questions. He received his MS and BS in symbolic systems from Stanford University in 2009 and his PhD in cognitive science from MIT in 2014. He was a postdoctoral data science fellow at NYU from 2014 to 2017. Brenden is a recipient of the Robert J. Glushko Prize for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in Cognitive Science. His research was selected by Scientific American as one of the most important advances of 2016.
2018 Innovator Under 35: An earthquake led her to invent a blend of analog and digital technologies for use when networks are downBarbarita Lara is a Chilean tech entrepreneur, computer engineer, and skilled coder driven by social innovation. She is CEO of EMERCOM, a tech company that creates disruptive communications solution, and project chief of SiE: Emergency Information System, which delivers emergency broadcasts without relying on conventional networks. She is also the tech director of Valparaíso.
Barbarita was a “Leader in Innovation” Fellow at The Royal Academy of Engineering in 2016/2017 and has been recognized by her country and university as a young leader for her contributions to the community and work in technological innovation.
Editor in Chief, MIT Technology ReviewGideon Lichfield has been the editor-in-chief of MIT Technology Review since December 2017. He spent 16 years at The Economist, first as a science and technology writer and then in postings to Mexico City, Moscow, Jerusalem, and New York City. In 2012 he left to become one of the founding editors of Quartz, a news outlet dedicated to covering the future of the global economy that is now widely recognized as one of the most innovative companies in digital media. Gideon has taught journalism at New York University and been a fellow at Data & Society, a research institute devoted to studying the social impacts of new technology. He grew up in the UK and studied physics and the philosophy of science.
Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University & Amazon AI
Machine Learning: The Opportunity and the OpportunistsZachary Chase Lipton is an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University. His research spans core machine-learning methods and their social impact, with a concentration on deep learning for time series data and sequential decision-making. This work addresses diverse application areas, including medical diagnosis, dialogue systems, and product recommendation. He completed several prolonged internships at Microsoft Research while completing his PhD at UCSD and continues to work part time as a machine-learning scientist at Amazon AI. He is the founding editor of the blog Approximately Correct and the lead author of Deep Learning: The Straight Dope, an open-source interactive book teaching deep learning through Jupyter notebooks.
Chief Strategy Officer, Kernel; Research Affiliate, MIT Media Lab
2018 Innovator Under 35: He wrote the book on how to record every neuron in the brainAdam Marblestone is chief strategy officer of Kernel and a part-time research affiliate with the Synthetic Neurobiology group at MIT. In his PhD as a Hertz Fellow in Biophysics at Harvard, with George Church and colleagues, he coauthored experimental and theoretical papers on molecular recording devices and road-mapped approaches for whole-brain mapping. Adam also participated in the development of new epigenomic readout technologies, genome engineering methods, nano-fabrication methods and nano-manipulation systems. More recently, he has coauthored papers analyzing the understanding of cortical computation, seeking strategies to integrate deep learning and neuroscience, and proposing new designs for neural interfaces. In his work with Ed Boyden at MIT, he helped to initiate the field of optical connectomics using the combination of expansion microscopy, in situ sequencing, and machine learning. At MIT, Adam was an investigator on an IARPA-funded project to map the neural connectome through in situ sequencing of RNA bar codes. Prior to his work in brain science, Adam studied quantum nonlocality, showing how quantum entanglement can exponentially enhance certain forms of distributed computation, and assisted in the early development of caDNAno, a graphical software tool for design of 3-D DNA origami nanostructures, now the standard for the field of structural DNA nanotechnology. Adam is also a cofounder of BioBright, a company aiming to create a “smart lab” to improve biological experimentation, and a scientific advisor to the Open Philanthropy Project and to OccamzRazor. He has co-taught courses at the MIT Media Lab on cognitive integration and how to invent and deploy transformative technologies.
Cofounder and Vice President of Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Frequency Therapeutics
2018 Innovator Under 35: Hearing loss in humans has always been irreversible; his innovation may change thatWill McLean studied biology as an undergraduate at Tufts University before going on to attain his PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology within the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. His doctoral research elucidated the distinct progenitor cell types that exist within the inner ear and their capacity to form hearing and balance sensory cells and neural cell types. As a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard Medical School, Will investigated small-molecule manipulation of signaling pathways to enable otherwise senescent progenitor cells of the cochlea to divide and form new sensory cells. He is a cofounder and vice president of biology and regenerative medicine at Frequency Therapeutics. Frequency is currently using his insights to develop a drug to treat hearing loss by regenerating lost sensory cells.
Senior Editor for Mobile, MIT Technology ReviewAs MIT Technology Review’s senior editor for mobile, Rachel Metz covers a wide variety of startups and writes gadget reviews out of the San Francisco office. Before arriving at MIT Technology Review in early 2012, Rachel spent five years as a technology reporter at the Associated Press, covering companies including Apple, Amazon, and eBay, and penning reviews. She has also worked as a freelancer, covering both technology and crime for the New York Times.
Distinguished University Professor and Bice Zorn Professor of Physics, University of Maryland
Preparing for a Quantum LeapChristopher Monroe is a quantum physicist who specializes in the isolation of individual atoms for applications in quantum information science. After graduating from MIT, Monroe earned his PhD in physics in 1992 from the University of Colorado , where he paved the way toward the achievement of Bose-Einstein condensation. From 1992 to 2000 he was a postdoc and then staff physicist at NIST, where he helped lead the team that demonstrated the first quantum logic gate in 1995. In 2000, Monroe became a professor of physics and electrical engineering at the University of Michigan, where he pioneered the use of single photons to couple quantum information between atoms and also demonstrated the first electromagnetic atom trap integrated on a semiconductor chip. From 2006 to 2007 he was the director of the National Science Foundation Ultrafast Optics Center at the University of Michigan. In 2007 he became the Bice Zorn Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland and a fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute. In 2008, Monroe’s group succeeded in producing quantum entanglement between two widely separated atoms and for the first time teleported quantum information over a large distance. Since 2009 his group has investigated the use of ultrafast laser pulses for speedy quantum entanglement operations, pioneered the use of trapped ions for quantum simulations of many-body models related to quantum magnetism, and proposed and made the first steps toward a scalable, reconfigurable, and modular quantum computer.
Founder, The DNA Detectives
Solving Cold Cases: An Unlikely Application for DNA DatabasesCeCe is an investigative genetic genealogist and media consultant. She has worked as the genetic genealogist for the PBS television documentary series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. since 2013. She is a sought-after media consultant and the founder of The DNA Detectives, which boasts an online following of over 92,000 people. CeCe also recently joined forces with Parabon NanoLabs to lead a new genetic genealogy services unit for law enforcement.
Assistant Professor of Energy, Resources, and Environment, Johns Hopkins University
China’s Clean Energy TransitionJonas Nahm is assistant professor of energy, resources, and environment at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, where his research focuses on the political economy of clean-energy transitions in China, Germany, and the United States. Jonas is particularly interested in the relationship between firms and governments in industrial development and technological innovation, asking when and how governments can reap economic—and not just environmental—benefits from supporting green industrial growth. A recent extension of this work examines strategic sources of state power in overcoming opposition from industrial lobbies in greening the global auto industry.
Professor, Harvard University
2018 Innovator Under 35: Her research on materials at the smallest scale could lead to a new generation of technologiesPrineha Narang is an assistant professor at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. Prior to joining the faculty, Prineha came to Harvard as a Ziff Environmental Fellow at the Harvard University Center for the Environment to explore the new field of excited-state quantum materials and devices. She was also a research scholar in condensed matter theory at the MIT Department of Physics, working on new theoretical methods to describe electron-phonon coupling in materials.
Prineha received her SB in materials science from Drexel University and an MS and PhD in applied physics from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) as a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow and Resnick Sustainability Institute Fellow. Her work focused on understanding light-matter interactions in areas ranging from quantum plasmonics to nitride optoelectronics. Prineha’s research interests lie in exploring and expanding the understanding of excited state and non-equilibrium phenomena to develop novel quantum-engineered materials and devices with applications in sensing and photodetection, energy conversion, and quantum information processing. Outside of science, she is an avid triathlete and runner.
Assistant Professor, Massachusetts General Hospital; Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School; Associated Researcher, Broad Institute
The Expanding Impact of Genetic ResearchBenjamin Neale is an assistant professor in the Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, assistant professor in medicine at Harvard Medical School, and an associated researcher at the Broad Institute. He is strongly committed to gaining insights into the genetics of common, complex human diseases. Neale and Mark Daly, both of whom are associated with the Broad Institute and MGH, lead the ADHD Initiative, a collaborative effort that focuses on genomic studies of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Neale studied at the University of Chicago and Virginia Commonwealth University, earning a BSc in genetics. He went on to earn his PhD in human genetics from King’s College in London. Neale completed his postdoctoral training in Daly’s laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to many local research collaborations, he also serves as advisor and analyst to international genetic research consortia on psychiatric diseases.
Founder and CEO, Modularity Grid
2018 Innovator Under 35: Her energy solution for rural communities in Africa could make grids more efficient everywhere
CEO and Managing Partner, The Engine
Encouraging Purpose-Driven InnovationKatie is the CEO and managing partner of The Engine. Previously, she was a founder and managing director at Project 11 Ventures and managing director of Techstars Boston. Katie spent her early career building significant internet businesses as head of product for Microsoft Startup Labs and SVP of product at Eons. She learned the ropes of product and business development at AltaVista, RagingBull, Zip2, and Mirror Worlds. Katie currently serves as chairman of the Startup Institute, where she is also a founder. She holds an MBA from Yale University and a BA in biology from Oberlin College.
2018 Innovator Under 35: He asked, what if a computer could fix itself?Alex Rebert is a computer security researcher and cofounder of ForAllSecure, whose mission is to test the world’s software and train future leaders in computer security. He received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from EPFL in 2011 and a master’s from Carnegie Mellon University in 2015. He is the coauthor of Mayhem, the first end-to-end system to automatically generate exploits on binaries. Mayhem found thousands of bugs and hundreds of exploits on real-world software. At ForAllSecure, he was leading the team working on the DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge (CGC). In 2016, the automated system he helped create won CGC.
Senior Editor for Biomedicine, MIT Technology ReviewAntonio Regalado is the senior editor for biomedicine for MIT Technology Review. He looks for stories about how technology is changing medicine and biomedical research. Before joining MIT Technology Review in July 2011, he lived in São Paulo, Brazil, where he wrote about science, technology, and politics in Latin America for Science and other publications. From 2000 to 2009, he was the science reporter at the Wall Street Journal and later a foreign correspondent.
Institute Professor, MIT
Understanding the Global Rise of Cyber InsecurityProfessor Rivest is an Institute Professor at MIT, which he joined in 1974 as a faculty member in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is a member of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), a member of the lab’s Theory of Computation Group, and a founder of its Cryptography and Information Security Group. He is a coauthor (with Cormen, Leiserson, and Stein) of the text Introduction to Algorithms. He is also a founder of RSA Data Security, now named RSA Security (the security division of EMC), Verisign, and Peppercoin. Professor Rivest has research interests in cryptography, computer and network security, electronic voting, and algorithms.
Editor, MIT Technology ReviewDavid Rotman is the editor of MIT Technology Review. He supervises editorial for both the print magazine and the website. A science and business journalist, he has written extensively on chemistry, biotechnology, materials science, and environmental issues. He joined MIT Technology Review in January 1998 as a senior editor covering nanotechnology. Before joining MIT Technology Review, Rotman was managing senior editor at Chemical Week magazine in New York City, where he supervised coverage of technology, research, and environmental issues. He has a BS degree from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
CEO and Cofounder, Cellino Biotech
2018 Innovator Under 35: She developed a way to edit genes with cheap lasersDr. Nabiha Saklayen is CEO and cofounder at Cellino Biotech, a venture-backed cell engineering company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Nabiha holds a PhD in physics from Harvard University and is an expert on convergent technologies that sit at the interface of physics, biology, and engineering.
Founder and CEO, Caspar
2018 Innovator Under 35: When his smart speakers didn’t work as well as hoped, he built a better systemAshutosh Saxena is CEO and cofounder (with chief scientist David Cheriton) of the high-tech startup Caspar.ai by Brain of Things.
Previously, Ashutosh spent four years as an assistant professor in the computer science department at Cornell University, where he founded the Robot Learning Lab and cofounded Zibby. His vision is to build artificial intelligence for embodied systems such as robots, cars, and homes. He received his PhD from Stanford University in artificial intelligence.
Director, Center for the Environment, Harvard University
Purpose-Driven Innovation: The Path to Sustainable EnergyDaniel Schrag is the Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology and professor of environmental science and engineering at Harvard University. He is also director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment and co-director of the Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Dan’s interests include climate change, energy technology, and energy policy, including how climate change influenced the evolution of life in the past and what steps might be taken to prepare for its impacts in the future. He helped develop the hypothesis that Earth experienced a series of extreme glaciations, called “Snowball Earths,” that may have stimulated a rise in atmospheric oxygen and the proliferation of multicellular animals. He has worked on a range of issues in energy technology and policy, including advanced technologies for low-carbon transportation fuel, carbon capture and storage, and risks and opportunities of shale gas. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2000. From 2009 to 2017, he served on President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), contributing to reports on energy technology, national energy policy, agricultural preparedness, climate change, STEM education, and more.
Staff Software Engineer, DeepMind
2018 Innovator Under 35: AlphaGo beat the world’s best Go player; he helped engineer the program that whipped AlphaGoJulian Schrittwieser studied computer science at the Technical University of Vienna and was hired by Google as a software engineer after his first year of university. After a year at Google and hearing an inspiring talk by DeepMind cofounder Demis Hassabis, he decided to move to DeepMind. Julian is now the lead software engineer on DeepMind’s AlphaGo Zero project, working on everything from the main search algorithm and the training framework to support for new hardware, such as Google’s TPUs. Additionally, Julian is creating network architectures to tackle yet-unsolved domains.
With the help of Julian’s research, AlphaGo mastered the game of Go a decade before experts thought possible. With his team’s ongoing AlphaGo Zero research, he is working to make the problem-solving approach more widely applicable to address complex areas such as drug discovery and the design of new materials.
Research Scientist, OpenAI
2018 Innovator Under 35: Training AI to be smarter and better, one game of Sonic the Hedgehog at a timeJohn Schulman is a research scientist at OpenAI and a member of the founding team. He co-developed some of the most widely used reinforcement learning algorithms (TRPO and PPO) and software packages (OpenAI Gym and Baselines). He received a PhD in computer science from UC Berkeley and a BS in physics from Caltech.
IT Officer, Business Solutions, Technology Innovation Lab, World Bank Group
Blockchains for Social GoodPrema Shrikrishna works at the World Bank Group’s Technology Innovation Lab, evaluating the feasibility of emerging technologies for solving real-world problems. For example, she has looked at the use of blockchain for pharma supply chains in low-capacity environments and for incentivizing skill development and traceability for palm oil in Asia. A MIT Sloan alum, she researched with the MIT Media Lab and MIT Internet Policy Research Initiative. Here, she worked with the Belt and Road Blockchain Consortium, writing a paper on the future of digital trade. She has also coauthored a paper on blockchain and its applicability for “plug and play” 3-D printing supply chains. Prior to moving to MIT, she led sustainable business operations for Fortune 500 companies in the fashion/retail, engineering, and telecom sectors in the Asia-Pacific region.
Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
2018 Innovator Under 35: His computer chips mimic the workings of the human brainDr. Manan Suri is an assistant professor at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-Delhi) and founder of a deep-tech hardware startup called Cyran AI Solutions, based in New Delhi, India. His research interests include semiconductor nonvolatile memory technology and unconventional computing hardware for neuromorphic and machine learning. He received his PhD from INP-Grenoble, France (2013), and his master’s (2010) and bachelor’s (2009) degrees from Cornell University. He has worked at NXP Semiconductors in Belgium and CEA-LETI in France. He holds US and international patents, serves as scientific advisor and steering committee member for leading neuromorphic hardware companies, and has coauthored book chapters and published 45+ papers in reputed conference proceedings and journals. He is a visiting scientist at CNRS in France and serves as committee member and reviewer for IEEE journals and conferences. His honors include the NASI Young Scientist Award, Young Faculty Fellowship, IEI Young Engineers Award, and Laureat du Prix.
Senior Editor for Energy, MIT Technology ReviewJames Temple is the senior editor for energy at MIT Technology Review. James is focused on clean energy and the use of technology to combat climate change. Previously, James was a senior director at the Verge, deputy managing editor at Recode, and columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle.
Professor of Computational Cognitive Science, MIT
Human Intelligence and the Future of AIJosh Tenenbaum is a professor of computational cognitive science in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, a principal investigator at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and a thrust leader in the Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines. His research centers on perception, learning, and common-sense reasoning in humans and machines, with the twin goals of better understanding human intelligence in computational terms and building more human-like intelligence in machines. Algorithms developed by his group are currently used around the world.
Tenenbaum received his PhD from MIT in 1999 and was an assistant professor at Stanford University from 1999 to 2002. He has given invited keynote talks at all the major machine-learning and artificial conferences, where his papers have received awards, and has held distinguished lectureships at Stanford University, the University of Amsterdam, McGill University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Arizona. He is the recipient of the Early Investigator Award from the Society of Experimental Psychologists, the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology from the American Psychological Association, and the Troland Research Award from the National Academy of Sciences and is a fellow of the Society of Experimental Psychologists and the Cognitive Science Society.
Cofounder and VP of Engineering, Veo Robotics
The Future of Human-Machine Interaction: Bringing Perception and Intelligence to Industrial RobotsClara Vu is cofounder and VP of engineering at Veo Robotics, a company that brings advanced computer vision, 3-D sensing, and AI to industrial robots, allowing them to work side by side with humans in manufacturing processes. She leads the engineering team and supports Veo Robotics’ product creation process and strategy. With over two decades of experience in robotics, Clara has developed multiple products from inception to market. She started her career at iRobot programming robots for oil well exploration; she then moved on to interactive toys and the Roomba. Prior to Veo, Clara was cofounder and director of software development for Harvest Automation, makers of mobile robots for agricultural automation. Before that, she was a product management consultant at Rethink Robotics, where she first met Veo cofounder Patrick Sobalvarro. Clara holds a BS in mathematics from Yale University.
Cofounder and CTO, Form Energy
2018 Innovator Under 35: Finding the materials for the next generation of grid-scale batteries
Senior Editor for Business, MIT Technology ReviewAs the senior editor for business, Elizabeth Woyke is focused on writing stories that explore the important question: what is the future of work when AI, automation, and on-demand services are altering how we define what a job is and who qualifies as an employee? Other areas of interest include new models for workforce training and education, how companies are increasing employee diversity and inclusion, and startups that are developing innovative workplace tools and technologies.
Elizabeth began her career at Time Asia, followed by staff jobs at BusinessWeek and Forbes. More recently, she co-authored an e-book for O’Reilly Media about the gig economy and wrote a book called The Smartphone: Anatomy of an Industry, which was published in 2014.
Assistant Professor, University of California, San Diego
2018 Innovator Under 35: Making off-the-shelf electronics stretchableSheng Xu is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Nanoengineering at UC San Diego. He received his BS in chemistry and molecular engineering from Peking University in Beijing and his PhD in materials science and engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He worked as a postdoctoral research associate in the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research group focuses on crystalline material growth for high-performance energy devices, nanosensors for intracellular action-potential recording, and wearable electronics for human-machine interface and health monitoring. His research has been recognized by a series of awards, including the 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, the Samsung Global Research Outreach Award, the TSMC Research Gold Award, and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry Prize for Young Chemists.
CEO and Cofounder, PhagePro
2018 Innovator Under 35: Cholera kills, and vaccines don’t always work; she created a better solutionDr. Minmin Yen researched the use of phages as an intervention for cholera during her thesis work in the Camilli Lab at Tufts University, resulting in publications in Nature Communications and eLife. As an undergraduate in biological engineering at MIT, she trained with Professors David Schauer and Darrell Irvine and researched oral vaccine delivery. Passionate about developing innovative solutions for infectious diseases, Dr. Yen was awarded the Howard Hughes Medical Institute MERGE-ID fellowship, which focused on translating bench science to clinical applications, for her graduate education. She traveled to Haiti to study the cholera epidemic and, with Professor Andrew Camilli and postdoctoral researcher Dr. Lynne Cairns, founded PhagePro with the aim of developing phage therapies to help the world’s most vulnerable communities.
Director, MIT Center for Civic Media
The Ethics of the InternetEthan Zuckerman is director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT and associate professor of the practice at MIT’s Media Lab. With Rebecca MacKinnon, Ethan cofounded the international blogging community Global Voices, which showcases news and opinions from citizen media in over 150 nations and 30 languages. Ethan's research focuses on issues of internet freedom, civic engagement through digital tools, and international connections through media. He blogs at http://ethanzuckerman.com/blog and lives in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts.
Presented by the Lemelson-MIT ProgramLuis von Ahn was born and raised in Guatemala, where he saw firsthand that high-quality educational opportunities were limited to those with money. In particular, learning English has long been a necessary means for getting out of poverty, yet it was expensive and unattainable for most people. Inspired to fix this, von Ahn co-founded Duolingo in 2011 to make language education free and accessible to everyone, and it has grown to become the most popular language-learning platform worldwide.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Duke University in 2000, he earned a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University in 2005. Von Ahn joined the faculty at the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science in 2006. Currently, he focuses on Duolingo full time as CEO.
EmTech 2018 Schedule
September 11-14 Agenda
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
6:00VIP Welcome Event
Private welcome event cohosted by IBM for EmTech speakers, Innovators Under 35, and special guests
*Innovation Circle registration required
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
8:00Registration & Breakfast
A welcome from MIT Technology Review’s editor in chief, Gideon Lichfield.Gideon Lichfield Editor in Chief, MIT Technology Review
9:10A Global View: Purpose-Driven Innovation
While emerging technologies are essential to driving economic growth, the rapid pace of automation that new technologies are fueling has brought discussions around ethics and governance to the forefront. How can we ensure that the next wave of innovation will benefit us all?Josh Tenenbaum Professor of Computational Cognitive Science, MIT
Human Intelligence and the Future of AIKatie Rae CEO and Managing Partner, The Engine
Encouraging Purpose-Driven Innovation
10:00Meet the Innovators Under 35
Conversations with the 2018 Innovators Under 35 honoreesChelsea Finn PhD Candidate, University of California, Berkeley
2018 Innovator Under 35: Her robots act like toddlers—watching adults, copying them in order to learnJonas Cleveland Cofounder and President, COSY Robotics
2018 Innovator Under 35: Helping create the shopping robots of the near futureJulian Schrittwieser Staff Software Engineer, DeepMind
2018 Innovator Under 35: AlphaGo beat the world’s best Go player; he helped engineer the program that whipped AlphaGoJohn Schulman Research Scientist, OpenAI
2018 Innovator Under 35: Training AI to be smarter and better, one game of Sonic the Hedgehog at a time
10:30Break & Networking
Examining the most innovative approaches to meet fast-growing global demand for clean energyDaniel Schrag Director, Center for the Environment, Harvard University
Purpose-Driven Innovation: The Path to Sustainable EnergyJonas Nahm Assistant Professor of Energy, Resources, and Environment, Johns Hopkins University
China’s Clean Energy Transition
12:00Meet the Innovators Under 35
Conversations with the 2018 Innovators Under 35 honoreesWilliam Woodford Cofounder and CTO, Form Energy
2018 Innovator Under 35: Finding the materials for the next generation of grid-scale batteriesShreya Dave CEO, Via Separations
2018 Innovator Under 35: Her filtration system could eliminate much of the energy used in industrial separation processesNabiha Saklayen CEO and Cofounder, Cellino Biotech
2018 Innovator Under 35: She developed a way to edit genes with cheap lasersPrineha Narang Professor, Harvard University
2018 Innovator Under 35: Her research on materials at the smallest scale could lead to a new generation of technologies
12:30Lunch & Networking
2:00Technology Spotlight: Intelligent Robots
Combining the latest advances in artificial intelligence with robots could take AI to the next level.Clara Vu Cofounder and VP of Engineering, Veo Robotics
The Future of Human-Machine Interaction: Bringing Perception and Intelligence to Industrial Robots
2:30Technology Spotlight: Social Impact of AI
What happens when leading edge technical solutions are applied to pressing societal challenges?Fei Fang Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
From Theory to Practice: AI for Societal Challenges
3:00Meet the Innovators Under 35
Conversations with the 2018 Innovators Under 35 honoreesShinjini Kundu Medical Researcher and Resident Physician, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
2018 Innovator Under 35: Medical images are so detailed it can be hard to decipher them; her program can spot what people can’tSheng Xu Assistant Professor, University of California, San Diego
2018 Innovator Under 35: Making off-the-shelf electronics stretchableWill McLean Cofounder and Vice President of Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Frequency Therapeutics
2018 Innovator Under 35: Hearing loss in humans has always been irreversible; his innovation may change thatMarzyeh Ghassemi Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Vector Institute
2018 Innovator Under 35: Using AI to make sense of messy hospital data
3:30Break & Networking
4:00Industry Impact: Emerging Technologies at Work
We'll examine the promise that AI holds, as the most critical global industries prepare to scale to meet the needs of a growing population. From better healthcare and cleaner energy to more efficient food production, emerging technologies are changing the way every major industry works.Ganesh Bell President, Uptake
Preparing for Industrial AIDina Katabi Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT
AI in Industry: Intelligent Health CareSam Eathington Chief Science Officer, The Climate Corporation
Is Machine Learning the Solution to the Global Food Crisis?
5:30Lemelson-MIT Prize Honors & Reception
Hosted by the Lemelson-MIT Program
Duolingo CEO Luis von Ahn will be presented with the prestigious Lemelson-MIT Prize. Luis will speak with the EmTech MIT audience about his journey and his award-winning work.Luis von Ahn CEO, Duolingo
Presented by the Lemelson-MIT ProgramCarol Dahl Executive Director, The Lemelson Foundation
Presented by the Lemelson-MIT ProgramMichael Cima Faculty Director, Lemelson-MIT Program
Presented by the Lemelson-MIT Program
Thursday, September 13, 2018
8:00Registration & Breakfast
9:00The Race for Intelligent Transportation Solutions
The pursuit of autonomous flight and transportation technologies is reshaping the aerospace industry.Greg Hyslop Chief Technology Officer, The Boeing Company
Launching a New Era in Aerospace
9:30Blockchains: Seeking a New Model of Trust
Can cryptocurrencies play a serious role in the world financial system? Here's a look at their potential in the global economy and the growing interest in potential applications for social good.Michael Casey Senior Advisor, Digital Currency Initiative, MIT Media Lab
Blockchain: A Reality CheckPrema Shrikrishna IT Officer, Business Solutions, Technology Innovation Lab, World Bank Group
Blockchains for Social Good
10:15Meet the Innovators Under 35
Conversations with the 2018 Innovators Under 35 honoreesBrenden Lake Assistant Professor of Psychology and Data Science, New York University
2018 Innovator Under 35: Getting machines to learn in the fast and flexible ways that humans canAlexandre Rebert Founder, ForAllSecure
2018 Innovator Under 35: He asked, what if a computer could fix itself?Natalya Bailey CEO, Accion Systems
2018 Innovator Under 35: A system to propel tiny satellites using electrical energyAlessandro Chiesa Assistant Professor, UC Berkeley
2018 Innovator Under 35: A cryptocurrency that’s as private as cashArchana Kamal Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
2018 Innovator Under 35: She solved a big problem in quantum computing by shrinking the components
10:45Break & Networking
11:15Technology Spotlight: Cybersecurity
Vulnerabilities in digital infrastructure are a concern worldwide. What can be done to address massive breaches of personal data, hacked elections, and other rising threats?Ronald L. Rivest Institute Professor, MIT
Understanding the Global Rise of Cyber InsecurityJ. Alex Halderman Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Michigan
12:00Technology Spotlight: Quantum Computing
Quantum computers are on the cusp of commercialization. What is quantum computing, and what will it be capable of?Christopher Monroe Distinguished University Professor and Bice Zorn Professor of Physics, University of Maryland
Preparing for a Quantum Leap
12:30Lunch & Networking
Special Session Presented by IBM
Bringing Quantum Computing to Everyone, Everywhere
Until recently, the number of people with access to a quantum computer was likely in the few hundreds. Today, people around the world can access real quantum machines within a few clicks, thanks to the IBM Q Experience. In the last few years, we have seen the emergence of open-source quantum computing frameworks, like Qiskit, which people use and contribute to every day. We are at an exciting time in the history of quantum computing. Hear from Dr. Talia Gershon on some of the key areas that are undergoing rapid innovation and how the democratization of quantum computing is accelerating the speed at which we can make progress, collectively, in this field.Talia Gershon Senior Manager, AI Challenges and Quantum Experiences, IBM
Democratizing Quantum Computing - Presented by IBM
2:00Promise and Perils of Gene Sequencing
With the rise in popularity of at-home DNA testing kits and growing databases of genetic data, highly sophisticated data is now more accessible than ever. This increased accessibility presents uncharted ethical terrain. For instance, what are the potential implications of widespread DNA use by law enforcement? How will we define acceptable applications, as well as genetic data ownership?Benjamin Neale Assistant Professor, Massachusetts General Hospital; Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School; Associated Researcher, Broad Institute
The Expanding Impact of Genetic ResearchCeCe Moore Founder, The DNA Detectives
Solving Cold Cases: An Unlikely Application for DNA Databases
2:45Meet the Innovators Under 35
Conversations with the 2018 Innovators Under 35 honoreesJames Dahlman Assistant Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology
2018 Innovator Under 35: His method makes it possible to test 300 drugs at onceManan Suri Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
2018 Innovator Under 35: His computer chips mimic the workings of the human brainNiki Bayat Cofounder and Chief Science Officer, AesculaTech
2018 Innovator Under 35: She invented materials that can heal eyes by sealing up traumatic injuriesAdam Marblestone Chief Strategy Officer, Kernel; Research Affiliate, MIT Media Lab
2018 Innovator Under 35: He wrote the book on how to record every neuron in the brainAshutosh Saxena Founder and CEO, Caspar
2018 Innovator Under 35: When his smart speakers didn’t work as well as hoped, he built a better system
3:30Break & Networking
4:00Questioning the Hype Around AI
While artificial intelligence is delivering valuable solutions across many industries today, expectations are increasingly out of synch with the reality that the field is still in its very early stages. What are the dangers posed by this disconnect?Zachary Lipton Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University & Amazon AI
Machine Learning: The Opportunity and the Opportunists
4:30Meet the Innovators Under 35
Conversations with the 2018 Innovators Under 35 honoreesHera Hussain Founder, CHAYN
2018 Innovator Under 35: Her tech nonprofit makes it easy for women to build a domestic-abuse case without a lawyerMinmin Yen CEO and Cofounder, PhagePro
2018 Innovator Under 35: Cholera kills, and vaccines don’t always work; she created a better solutionElizabeth Nyeko Founder and CEO, Modularity Grid
2018 Innovator Under 35: Her energy solution for rural communities in Africa could make grids more efficient everywhereBarbarita Lara CEO, Emercom
2018 Innovator Under 35: An earthquake led her to invent a blend of analog and digital technologies for use when networks are downJoy Buolamwini Founder, Algorithmic Justice League
2018 Innovator Under 35: When AI misclassified her face, she started a movement for accountability
5:00Ethics & Governance in the AI Era
The free flow of information online was expected to promote a more cohesive and democratic society. Instead, trust in long standing institutions has been severely fractured. Can technology be part of the solution?
Solving the challenges of our day will require new approaches and new technologies. How can today’s leaders encourage the risk-taking that is required in the pursuit of new breakthroughs, while also establishing ethical guidelines to ensure more purpose-driven innovation?Karrie Karahalios Professor of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Truth and Bias in the Age of AlgorithmsEthan Zuckerman Director, MIT Center for Civic Media
The Ethics of the Internet
5:452018 Innovator Under 35 Awards & Reception
Celebrating the 2018 Innovators Under 35
Friday, September 14, 2018
9:00Registration & Breakfast
A half-day deep dive into one of MIT Technology Review's major themes
*Innovation Circle or Premium Pass registration required
A Look at the Lab-to-Market Lifecycle
Cohosted by The Engine, MIT's innovation orchard »
Join a fireside side chat and Q&A with The Engine’s founder companies to learn about what it takes for disruptive technologies to make it out of the lab and into the world. Learn about the realities of commercialization, the importance of long-term capital, and common hurdles encountered while pushing the edges of innovation.
Future Focus: Quantum Computing
Cohosted by the MIT Department of Physics »
As quantum computing makes strides towards commercialization, what will it be capable of? Join a roundtable discussion with pioneers in this field to learn about the fundamentals of this powerful new technology, discover its potential enterprise applications, and prepare your workforce for the future of quantum computing. Speakers include William D. Oliver, MIT Physics Professor of the Practice, Lincoln Laboratory Fellow, and RLE Associate Director; and Christopher Savoie, CEO of Zapata Computing.
A View from the Lab: Bio-Inspired Robot Design
Cohosted by the MIT Mechanical Engineering Biomimetic Robotics Lab »
With expectations rising for human-machine collaboration, roboticists are working to address a new challenge: how can AI and robotic systems be improved to better navigate our world intuitively and execute tasks safely? Hear from MechE professor Sangbae Kim on his bio-inspired designs that promise a new generation of robots capable of taking on a wide array of jobs, from entering hazardous environments to assisting the elderly.
MIT Technology Review events consistently attract senior-level business and technology decision makers who drive the global innovation economy.
EmTech is a must-attend for:
- C-Level Executives
- Policy Leaders
- Tech Media
- Venture Investors
- IP Professionals
News + Views
There might be a better way of making social media a healthier place, from creating more user-friendly settings to setting up our own sites from scratch.
AI has huge potential to transform our lives, but the term itself is being abused in very worrying ways, says Zachary Lipton, an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University.
CeCe Moore’s company has been helping police departments solve cold cases by uploading crime-scene DNA to public genealogy databases.
The pioneer behind a new national plan says it could help the US compete—and address a looming shortage of quantum engineers.
Venue + Travel
MIT Media Lab
MIT Media Lab
EmTech happens at the MIT Media Lab in the heart of the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Here you can't help but feel the excitement and inspiration of being at the top university in the world, surrounded by the top technology minds anywhere.
MIT Media Lab
75 Amherst Street
(Corner of Ames and Amherst)
Cambridge, MA 02139
Conference Location: Entire 6th floor of Building E14
Hyatt Regency Cambridge
Discounted Conference Rate:
$219/night plus tax
See more details
Hyatt Regency Cambridge is located along the scenic Charles River overlooking the Boston skyline and is in the midst of two uncommonly exciting cities, Boston and Cambridge. Discover Boston and Cambridge at a hotel just minutes from Boston, adjacent to MIT, Harvard and Boston Universities. The Hyatt's guests are greeted with a dynamic 16-story atrium lobby featuring 470 newly renovated guestrooms. Zephyr on the Charles is the hotel's full service restaurant featuring eclectic dining, extraordinary views and authentic service. The state-of-the art Hyatt Stay Fit Health Club features a 75 ft heated indoor pool, eucalyptus sauna and steam room.
You may also reserve your stay at 617-492-1234. Be sure to mention the EmTech room block.
The group rate expires on August 19, 2018.
Boston Marriott Cambridge
Discounted Conference Rate:
$289/night plus tax
See more details
Explore historic Cambridge from the modern comfort and convenience of the Boston Marriott Cambridge. Located steps away from the popular Kendall Square, our hotel is situated next to the city's top shopping, dining, and entertainment venues, and offers superb access to world-class institutions like Harvard University and MIT. Upon arrival, guests will be checked-in to their spacious guest rooms and suites, all of which feature thoughtful details like plush bedding, high-speed Internet access, and 32-inch LCD TVs. Take time to visit our on-site fitness center and indoor pool facility before heading to our lobby Starbucks® for a morning coffee, or dine with us at Champions, our signature American restaurant.
You may also reserve your stay by phone at: 1-800-228-9290 or 617-494-6600. Be sure to mention the EmTech room block.
The group rate expires on August 20, 2018.
MIT is located on the north shore of the Charles River Basin in Cambridge, MA, USA. The campus is within three miles of two major interstate highways and less than six miles from a major international airport; it is accessible via public transportation. MIT is a 15-30 minute walk from downtown Boston (depending on the weather). MIT is a 30-40 minute walk from Harvard University, which is located just up the river from MIT.
Via Public Transportation
MBTA ("The T") Subway — Take the Red Line subway to the Kendall/MIT Station.
The Media Lab is located on the Red Line at the "Kendall/MIT" stop of the subway. You can transfer to the Red Line without additional fees from any other subway line at the appropriate station. Please check the subway map at your boarding point for more detailed information.
At the Kendall/MIT stop, you will surface on Main Street in Kendall Square. Landmarks include the Marriott Hotel and the MIT Coop. Facing Main Street, with the Marriott Hotel and the MIT Coop to your back, proceed right (west) to the first traffic light. This is the intersection of Main Street and Ames Street, with Legal Seafoods on the corner. Turn left onto Ames Street. The Media Lab is about halfway down the block, the second building on the left at 20 Ames Street. It is a large, contemporary, whitetiled building. Adjacent and connected to E15 is the new Media Lab expansion building (E14); its address is 75 Amherst Street. For information on Boston's public transportation system, including maps and schedules for bus, subway, and commuter rail service, please consult the MBTA.
From Logan Airport
By Taxi — Taxi fare from the airport is about $20$25. During nonrush hour, the taxi ride will take about 15 minutes. During rush hour, the ride could take 30 minutes.
By Subway — From any terminal at Logan Airport, take the Silver Line bus to South Station. At South Station, change to the Red Line subway to Kendall/MIT (inbound toward Alewife). Under normal conditions the ride will take about 30 minutes; the fare is $2.00.
By Car — Leaving the airport, follow the signs to the Sumner Tunnel. Enter the tunnel and stay in the right lane. At the end of the tunnel, continue to stay in the right lane, start down an incline and bear to the right immediately at the sign for Storrow Drive. Take Exit 26 for Cambridge/Somerville. Follow the signs for Back Bay/Cambridge (do not take the exit for Cambridge/Somerville). Stay in the right lane and follow the signs for Storrow Drive Westbound. After you pass under the pedestrian walkbridges, change to the left lane and take the exit for 2A North. Turn right and cross the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue).
From the Massachusetts Turnpike — Exit at "Brighton/Cambridge." Follow signs to Cambridge. The Doubletree Hotel will be on your right. Go straight over the bridge into Cambridge (on River Street) and take your first right onto Memorial Drive. The Charles River will be on your right. Go straight on Memorial Drive, staying to the left and going over the overpass at the Boston University (B.U.) Bridge (past MicroCenter). Staying in the left lane, pass under the next bridge, which is the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue). The first street after that bridge, to the left, is Ames Street—but it is one way in the wrong direction. You will have to take the second left (sign says Kendall Square) onto Wadsworth Street. Take the first left onto Amherst Street. The Media Lab is at 75 Amherst Street (E14) and 20 Ames Street (E15), at the corner where Amherst Street ends at Ames Street.
From Logan Airport — Leaving the airport, take the Sumner Tunnel to 93 North. Exit right off of 93 at the Cambridge/Storrow Drive exit. When the ramp splits, bear right following signs to Storrow Drive. Exit left at the Kendall Square exit. At the traffic light, go right onto the Longfellow Bridge. Follow Main Street (Main flows into Broadway) and take a left at the second set of lights (Ames Street). The Media Lab will be on your left about a block and a half down Ames Street. Logan International Airport's Web site provides uptotheminute information on weather, construction, and traffic.
To Logan Airport — Drive away from the river on Ames Street, and make the first right onto Main Street. Follow Main Street to the Longfellow Bridge; proceed over the Longfellow Bridge. At the end of the bridge, there will be signage directing you to Route 93 South. Follow Route 93 South to the Airport exit. From Route I93: From I93, take exit 26, and follow the signs to Back Bay along Storrow Drive West, approximately 1.5 miles, to the exit for Route 2A. The exit will be on the left, just before the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue). The Charles River will be on your right. As you cross the bridge, you will be looking at MIT. At the end of the bridge, turn right on to Memorial Drive. The first street after that bridge, to the left, is Ames Street—but it is one way in the wrong direction. You will have to take the second left (sign says Kendall Square) onto Wadsworth Street. Take the first left onto Amherst Street. The Media Lab is at 75 Amherst Street (E14) and 20 Ames Street (E15), at the corner where Amherst Street ends at Ames Street.
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