MIT Media Lab
AI and robotics are driving rapid and radical workplace transformation across all industries, for companies large and small. These and other emerging technologies, like advanced manufacturing and AR/VR, are changing jobs ranging from manufacturing to medicine to retail.
EmTech Next examines the technology behind these global trends and their implications for the future of work. It will delve into their potential to empower the human workforce and open up new areas of economic growth, while also exploring their unintended consequences.
How can businesses better use artificial intelligence?
How will you prepare your workforce for the jobs of the future?
What skills will be valued in this new era?
How can you stay agile and steer your career through this time of unprecedented change?
Our 2019 program will explore:
» Artificial Intelligence and its impact on businesses
» Advances in human-robot collaboration
» Leadership in an era of constant reinvention
» Technologies that bring the digital factory to life
» How AR/VR is changing the enterprise training landscape
» Jobs of the future
Watch video from the inaugural event here »
The innovators at the heart of the next wave of the digital revolution are here.
Professor of Law and Health Sciences, University of SurreyRyan Abbott, MD, JD, MTOM, is Professor of Law and Health Sciences at the University of Surrey School of Law, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and a mediator and arbitrator with JAMS. He has published widely on issues associated with law and technology, health law, and intellectual property in leading legal, medical, and scientific journals. Professor Abbott has worked as partner at a litigation firm, general counsel of a biotechnology company, and of counsel at law firms specialized in transactional matters and intellectual property litigation for biopharmaceutical and medical device companies. He is a licensed and board-certified physician and patent attorney in the United States and a solicitor (non-practicing) in England and Wales.
Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
Understanding Human Behavior for Better Human-Robot CollaborationHenny Admoni is an assistant professor in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, where she works on assistive robotics and human-robot interaction. Henny develops and studies intelligent robots that help people perform complex tasks like cooking and eating. Her focus is on how natural, intuitive human behaviors, such as where people are looking, can reveal their underlying mental states and improve human-robot collaboration. Henny completed a postdoc at the Robotics Institute at CMU and a PhD in computer science at Yale University. She also holds a BA/MA joint degree in computer science from Wesleyan University. Henny’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Paralyzed Veterans of America Research Foundation, the US Office of Naval Research, and Sony.
CEO and Cofounder, Iron Ox
Robots: Farmers of the FutureBrandon Alexander is the CEO and cofounder of Iron Ox, a company building robotic greenhouses to make premium produce accessible to everyone.
Inspired by his family farm and his career in robotics, Brandon sought to find a sustainable approach to feeding the world’s growing population in an industry that’s challenged with a declining labor force and extreme weather conditions. With his cofounder Jon Binney, he traveled all across California to talk with local farmers about the challenges facing the industry and how robotics can provide modern solutions.
Brandon has a track record of laying the groundwork for successful robotic deployment. He previously played a key role in Google[x]’s drone delivery program, Project Wing, where he developed the flight mission control software. He has also worked at the robotics think tank Willow Garage.
Ford Professor of Economics, MIT
Work of the Past, Work of the FutureDavid Autor is Ford Professor in the MIT Department of Economics. His scholarship explores the labor market impacts of technological change and globalization, earnings inequality, and disability insurance and labor supply. Autor has received numerous awards both for his scholarship—the National Science Foundation Career Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, the Sherwin Rosen Prize for outstanding contributions in the field of labor economics—and for his teaching: the MIT MacVicar Faculty Fellowship for contributions to undergraduate education, the James A. and Ruth Levitan Award for excellence in teaching, the Undergraduate Economic Association Teaching Award, and the Faculty Appreciation Award from the MIT TPP program. He was recognized by Bloomberg as one of the 50 people who defined global business in 2017.
Economics Columnist, The EconomistRyan Avent is a senior editor and the economics columnist at The Economist. He is the author of "The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power and Status in the Twenty-first Century" and "The Gated City."
Cofounder and Research Group SVP, Element AI
Canada’s AI EcosystemPhilippe Beaudoin cofounded Element AI and, as SVP Research, he's in charge of the AI-for-Good and Applied Research Lab divisions. As such, he directs the researchers who explore and refine Element AI's bold vision of the future of AI in the enterprise and ensures these discoveries are used to make the world a better place. Prior to cofounding Element AI, Philippe was a senior developer at Google and cofounder of two startups. He also holds a PhD and postdoc in computer science, specialized in computer graphics and reinforcement learning.
Founder and CEO, Strivr
Virtual Reality: A Safe Place to LearnDerek Belch is the founder and CEO of Strivr, a leading provider of immersive training that empowers people to perform at their best. Derek developed his vision for Strivr while getting his master’s in virtual reality and serving as an assistant football coach at Stanford. With a passion for football and expertise in immersive technology, Derek brought together a unique way to transform training, initially for athletes and now for enterprises. Strivr is now the industry leader in immersive training solutions, currently used by leading Fortune 500 companies as well as professional and collegiate sports teams.
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.
Head of AI for Hiring Products, LinkedIn
Scaling AI across the WorkforceErik Buchanan leads Artificial Intelligence for LinkedIn's biggest business, Talent Solutions. After building Connectifier, the recruiting industry's favorite product for finding qualified candidates, Erik and the Connectifier team joined forces with LinkedIn in 2016 to improve its core business, LinkedIn Recruiter. While at LinkedIn, Erik developed AI Academy, a program to educate and empower LinkedIn's entire workforce to learn, discuss, and use AI technologies to solve LinkedIn members' most challenging problems. AI Academy has experienced overwhelming demand from all across the LinkedIn workforce, and the results are remarkable: new AI-powered features launched, more effective communication about AI topics, and better domain-specific applications of AI best practices.
Chief Data Officer and Executive Vice President, Suffolk
Building Smarter: The Construction Industry’s TransformationJit Kee Chin is the chief data officer and executive vice president at the construction company Suffolk. She is responsible for leveraging big data and advanced analytics to improve the organization’s core business. Ms. Chin works closely with the company’s innovation and strategy teams to fundamentally reinvent the future of construction in the digital age. Before joining Suffolk, she spent 10 years with management consulting firm McKinsey and Company, where she counseled senior executives on strategic, commercial, and advanced analytics topics. Ms. Chin holds a PhD in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BS from the California Institute of Technology.
Senior Researcher, Microsoft Research
Ghost Work and the Future of EmploymentMary is a Fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research. She holds a faculty position in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering with affiliations in Anthropology, Gender Studies, and the Media School, at Indiana University. She trained in anthropology before earning her PhD in Communication from the University of California at San Diego in 2004. Her most recent book, "Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global Underclass," co-authored with computer scientist Siddharth Suri, explores the lives of people paid to train artificial intelligence or used to deliver on-demand services. Mary is also a leading expert in the field of AI ethics, particularly research that bridges computer and social sciences. She sits on the Executive Board of Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R) and Stanford University’s “One-Hundred-Year Study on Artificial Intelligence” (AI100).
AI Reporter, MIT Technology ReviewKaren Hao is an AI reporter at MIT Technology Review, covering the technology’s social impact and the ethical questions it raises. Before joining TR, she was a tech reporter and data scientist at Quartz. In a past life, she was also an application engineer at the first startup to spin out of Alphabet’s X.
Chairman and CEO, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Leading in an Era of Superminds and Superjobs: Reinvention with a Human Focus - Presented by DeloitteDan is Chairman and CEO of Deloitte Consulting LLP. As CEO, he leads a $10B business comprised of more than 50,000 professionals who help clients solve their most complex business issues and shape their future with confidence.
Prior to this role, Dan led the Government & Public Services practice, with more than 13,000 professionals helping to solve our nation’s biggest challenges across all levels of government, including all 15 US cabinet-level agencies, 44 states, and more than 60 of the top 100 universities. Dan advised government leaders in transforming into more efficient and effective organizations across areas of technology modernization and innovation, human capital, strategy and analytics, customer experience, and enterprise operations.
In Helfrich’s more than 20 years with Deloitte, he has led large customer-centric transformations for both public and private sector clients. He also played roles as Deloitte’s chief strategy officer for Human Capital and led the Civilian Government sector. In addition, he writes and speaks regularly on topics such as purpose-driven leadership, elevating citizen and customer experience, and the future of work.
Dan holds a BS in international economics and an MBA from Georgetown University. He remains an active Georgetown alum, including serving as the play-by-play announcer for the Georgetown men’s soccer team (where he served as captain during his time at the school). Dan and his wife live in the Washington metropolitan area with their four children.
Executive Associate Dean and Professor, Georgia Tech
Equity in ComputingDr. Charles Isbell received his bachelor's in Computer Science from Georgia Tech. He earned his SM and PhD at MIT's Computer Science and AI Lab and eventually joined AT&T Labs/Research. In 2002, he returned to Georgia Tech, where he is now Professor and Executive Associate Dean for the College of Computing. The unifying theme of Charles' research interests has been using machine learning to build autonomous agents who engage directly with humans. His work has been featured in the popular press, congressional testimony, and in several technical collections. Charles has also pursued reform in computing education. He was a chief architect of Threads, Georgia Tech’s structuring principle for computing curricula. Charles was also an architect for Georgia Tech’s first-of-its-kind MOOC-supported MS in Computer Science. Both efforts have received international attention and been presented in the academic and popular press. In all his roles, he has continued to focus on issues of broadening participation in computing. He is the founding Executive Director for the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing. He is a AAAI Fellow and a Fellow of the ACM. Appropriately, his citation for ACM Fellow reads “for contributions to interactive machine learning; and for contributions to increasing access and diversity in computing”.
Author and Managing Director, Willis Towers Watson
Leading in Times of Perpetual ReinventionRavin Jesuthasan is a recognized global thought leader and author on the future of work and human capital. He has led numerous research efforts on the global workforce, the emerging digital economy, the rise of artificial intelligence, and the transformation of work. He has also led research projects for the World Economic Forum, including its ground-breaking study “Shaping the Future Implications of Digital Media for Society” and the recently launched “Creating a Shared Vision for Talent in the 4th Industrial Revolution.” He is a regular participant and presenter at the World Economic Forum’s annual meetings in Davos and Dalian/Tianjin and is a member of the forum’s Steering Committee on Work and Employment. He has been recognized as one of the top 25 most influential consultants in the world by Consulting magazine. He is the author of "Transformative HR, Lead The Work: Navigating a World Beyond Employment," and "Reinventing Jobs: A 4-Step Approach to Applying Automation to Work."
US Leader, Workforce Transformation, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Leading in an Era of Superminds and Superjobs: Reinvention with a Human Focus - Presented by DeloitteRobin Jones is a Principal in Deloitte with 20+ years of organization and workforce transformation consulting experience. At Deloitte, Robin leads markets and services for Workforce Transformation where she advises senior executives on strategy and execution of large-scale initiatives on the future of work as they contemplate how advanced technologies and shifts in society and business are impacting their work, workforce, and workplace strategies. She lives in Brooklyn, NY and holds a PhD in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Georgia Tech, and an MS in Architecture and BS in Interior Design from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
Distinguished Professor of EECS and Vice Chancellor for Research, University of California, Irvine
Socially Responsible Automation: A Framework for Shaping the FuturePramod Khargonekar received a B.Tech. Degree in electrical engineering in 1977 from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India and his MS degree in mathematics in 1980 and PhD degree in electrical engineering in 1981 from the University of Florida. He has been on faculty at the University of Florida, University of Minnesota, The University of Michigan, and the University of California, Irvine. He was Chairman of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from 1997 to 2001 and also held the position of Claude E. Shannon Professor of Engineering Science at The University of Michigan. From 2001 to 2009, he was Dean of the College of Engineering and Eckis Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida till 2016. He also served briefly as Deputy Director of Technology at ARPA-E, U. S. Department of Energy in 2012-13. He was appointed by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to serve as Assistant Director for the Directorate of Engineering (ENG) in March 2013, a position he held till June 2016. In this position, Khargonekar led the ENG Directorate with an annual budget of more than $950 million. In addition, he served as a member of the NSF senior leadership and management team and participated in setting priorities and policies. In June 2016, he assumed his current position as Vice Chancellor for Research and Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine.
Senior Editor for AI and Robotics, 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.
Professor, MIT Sloan School of ManagementThomas Kochan is the George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management, a Professor of Work and Employment Research, and the CoDirector of the MIT Sloan Institute for Work and Employment Research at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Kochan focuses on the need to update America’s work and employment policies, institutions, and practices to catch up with a changing workforce and economy. His recent work calls attention to the challenges facing working families in meeting their responsibilities at work, at home, and in their communities. Through empirical research, he demonstrates that fundamental changes in the quality of employee and labor-management relations are needed to address America’s critical problems in industries ranging from healthcare to airlines to manufacturing.
Kochan holds a BBA in personnel management as well as an MS and a PhD in industrial relations from the University of Wisconsin.
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.
Cofounder and CEO, Tulip
Inside the Digital FactoryNatan Linder is cofounder and CEO of manufacturing technology company, Tulip, and cofounder and chairman of Formlabs, the pioneer and industry leader in professional desktop 3D printing. Drawing from over 15 years of experience and accomplished careers at companies like Samsung, Sun Microsystems, and Rethink Robotics, Linder holds a depth of expertise in computer science, product design, and entrepreneurship. Prior to starting Tulip and Formlabs, Linder was cofounder and general manager of Samsung Electronic’s R&D Center in Israel, spearheading the group’s innovation efforts in mobile and shipping multiple products to the global market. He’s served as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Jerusalem Venture Partners, the leading Israeli venture capital firm. Linder holds a PhD from MIT Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces Group and a SM in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT. Linder’s work aims to fuse design and engineering to create novel human experiences.
Founding Director, MIT Center for Collective Intelligence
Superminds: The Power of People and Computers Thinking TogetherThomas W. Malone is the Patrick J. McGovern Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the founding director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence. At MIT, he is also a professor of information technology and a professor of work and organizational studies. Previously, he was the founder and director of the MIT Center for Coordination Science and one of the two founding co-directors of the MIT Initiative “Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century.” Professor Malone teaches classes on organizational design, information technology, and leadership, and his research focuses on how new organizations can be designed to take advantage of the possibilities provided by information technology.
Malone has been a cofounder of four software companies and has consulted and served as a board member for a number of other organizations. His background includes work as a research scientist at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), a PhD from Stanford University, an honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich, and degrees in applied mathematics, engineering, and psychology. He is the author of The Future of Work and Supermind, as well as over 100 articles, papers, and book chapters.
Principal, US Leader – Analytics and Cognitive, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Leading in an Era of Superminds and Superjobs: Reinvention with a Human Focus - Presented by DeloitteNitin Mittal is a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP and currently leads Deloitte’s Analytics and Cognitive practice.
He has over 20 years of experience helping clients harness data as a strategic asset through the use of big data, predictive analytics, machine learning, cognitive computing and other disruptive technologies on the journey to become Insight Driven Organizations.
Nitin received a Bachelor's degree in Physics from Banaras Hindu University, India and a Master's degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Arizona. In his free time, he enjoys reading, particularly on the topics of ancient history and astrophysics, collecting rare coins and exploring World Heritage sites. Nitin currently lives in Boston with his wife and son.
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT
How Will 5G Transform the Future of Work?Muriel Médard is the Cecil H. Green Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. She was previously an Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and a member of the Coordinated Science Laboratory at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. From 1995 to 1998, she was a Staff Member at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in the Optical Communications and the Advanced Networking Groups.
Professor Médard received BS degrees in EECS and in Mathematics in 1989, a BS degree in Humanities in 1990, a MS degree in EE 1991, and a Sc D degree in EE in 1995, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge.
Professor Médard’s research interests are in the areas of network coding and reliable communications, particularly for optical and wireless networks.
Founder and President, LeadGenius
Employment as a Charitable FrameworkPrayag Narula is the Founder and President of LeadGenius, a marketing and sales data management company and social enterprise based out of Berkeley, CA. LeadGenius is used by top marketers in fortune 500 and public companies and has raised over $22 million in funding from some of the most prestigious VCs in Silicon Valley. The LeadGenius mission is to combine technology & machine learning with human intelligence, while providing meaningful jobs to communities around world. Prayag cofounded LeadGenius as a graduate student at the Cal Berkeley School of Information. Before Berkeley, Prayag was working as a research scientist at Helsinki University in Finland. He has authored over a dozen research papers in the fields of Computer Systems, Machine Learning, and Human Computer Interaction.
NTU Professor of Human Resources and Management, MIT Sloan School of Management
The Future of Good JobsPaul Osterman is the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Professor of Human Resources and Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management as well as a member of the MIT Department of Urban Planning. From July 2003 to June 2007 he also served as Deputy Dean at the Sloan School.
His research concerns changes in work organization within companies, career patterns and processes within firms, economic development, urban poverty, and public policy surrounding skills training and employment programs.
Professor Osterman has been a senior administrator of job training programs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and has consulted widely to government agencies, foundations, community groups, firms, and public interest organizations.
Head of Emerging Technologies, Lockheed Martin
Building Spacecrafts with ARShelley Peterson has supported Lockheed Martin pursuits, diving into the rapidly evolving augmented reality and wearables market to integrate emerging technologies into key solutions. Her combined skill and reputation as a thought leader across the augmented reality industry have resulted in repeated demonstration of the potential of augmented reality technology across numerous Lockheed Martin Space programs. Shelley obtained her mathematics and physics degrees at a young age and taught college math at the University of North Texas at age 21. Early in her professional career, Shelley founded a business focused on emerging technology solutions, including military aircraft distributed mission training and multi-spectral imaging monoculars for SOCOM. Her pursuits have included software development on the B1-Bomber simulator at Dyess AFB, electronic warfare capabilities at E-Systems, and she has served on the Space Based Infrared Systems (SBIRS) satellite program as the first certified Mission Management crew member and instructor.
Editor at Large, 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.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, State University of New York
Socially Responsible Automation: A Framework for Shaping the FutureDr. Meera Sampath is Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at the State University of New York, where she is responsible for advancing SUNY’s system-wide research mission with special focus on AI research, innovation, strategic partnerships, and advocacy. Prior to joining SUNY, Meera was Vice President of Innovation at Xerox Services, where she oversaw a broad research portfolio in automation and analytics. At Xerox she has held several positions earlier on including Principal Scientist, Xerox Research, and Founding Director, Xerox Research Center India. Meera received her B.E., M.Tech. and PhD, all in Electrical Engineering from Anna University India, the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, respectively.
Automation has been a central theme of her academic explorations and professional career. Her current research interests are in human-technology collaborative work, socially responsible automation, and the role of technology and education in creating jobs of the automation era. A recipient of the University of Michigan’s Alumni Merit Award, Meera holds over 15 US patents and is active on a number of education-focused boards, including the University of Michigan ECE advisory council, the Rochester International Academy for refugee students, and the Hochstein School of Music and Dance, Rochester, NY.
VP of Product Management, Google Cloud Artificial Intelligence
Building AI for the Enterprise in the 21st CenturyRajen Sheth leads the Google Cloud Artificial Intelligence product line, and he focuses on making Google’s AI technology easy and useful for developers and enterprise customers. Previously, Rajen led the development of Android and Chrome for business and education, including the Android for Work products, the Chromebooks for Education product line, and Chromebooks and Chrome browser for work. Rajen also helped create and lead product development for Google Apps for Work and Education (now known as G Suite), a full suite of communication and collaboration products for businesses which is now used by over 5 million businesses.
Rajen graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a master's degree in computer science.
Executive Director, Autodesk Foundation
Closing the Skills GapJoe Speicher currently serves as the Executive Director of the Autodesk Foundation, which supports the design and creation of innovative solutions to the world's most pressing social and environmental challenges. During his tenure, Joe’s overseen the deployment of more than $20 million in grants and investments. Joe’s work is proving that companies can be a force for good by amplifying the impact of corporate philanthropy with a risk tolerant approach toward innovation, and at same time delivering significant value to shareholders. Prior to joining Autodesk, Joe was on the founding team of Living Goods, where he spent six years leading operations for the global health organization. He began his career in the banking and finance sector, working with Deutsche Bank and Cambridge Associates. He then spent three years in the Peace Corps in the Philippines and has worked as a consultant for the Economist Intelligence Unit, the World Bank, and Google.org. He earned a master's degree from Columbia University and holds a bachelor's degree from Washington and Lee University.
Assistant Professor, Brown UniversityStefanie Tellex is the Joukowsky Family Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Assistant Professor of Engineering at Brown University. Her group, the Humans to Robots Lab, creates robots that seamlessly collaborate with people to meet their needs using language, gesture, and probabilistic inference, aiming to empower every person with a collaborative robot. She completed her PhD at the MIT Media Lab in 2010, where she developed models for the meanings of spatial prepositions and motion verbs. Her postdoctoral work at MIT CSAIL focused on creating robots that understand natural language. She has published at SIGIR, HRI, RSS, AAAI, IROS, ICAPs and ICMI, winning Best Student Paper at SIGIR and ICMI, Best Paper at RSS, and an award from the CCC Blue Sky Ideas Initiative. Her awards include being named one of IEEE Spectrum's AI's 10 to Watch in 2013, the Richard B. Salomon Faculty Research Award at Brown University, a DARPA Young Faculty Award in 2015, a NASA Early Career Award in 2016, a 2016 Sloan Research Fellowship, and an NSF Career Award in 2017. Her work has been featured in the press on National Public Radio, BBC, MIT Technology Review, Wired and Wired UK, as well as the New Yorker. She was named one of Wired UK's Women Who Changed Science In 2015 and listed as one of MIT Technology Review's Ten Breakthrough Technologies in 2016.
Senior Director of Strategic Technology Initiatives, Intel
AI Hype: Navigating the Bubble - Presented by IntelRiva-Melissa Tez is a Senior Director of Strategic Technology Initiatives at Intel. Before joining Intel, she cofounded an early-stage artificial intelligence focused venture fund based in San Francisco. Her written works includes essays on artificial intelligence and financial tools, including a 2016 Microsoft campaign for The Economist. She was a 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient for Finance.
CEO and Cofounder, Diligent Robotics
Robot Assistants for Everyday Humans Transforming the Meaning of WorkAndrea Thomaz is the CEO and cofounder of Diligent Robotics and a renowned social robotics expert. Her accolades include being recognized by the National Academy of Science as a Kavli Fellow, the US President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Tech, MIT Technology Review on its Innovators Under 35 list, Popular Science on its Brilliant 10 list, TEDx as a featured keynote speaker on social robotics, and Texas Monthly on its Most Powerful Texans of 2018 list. Andrea’s robots have been featured in the New York Times and on the covers of MIT Technology Review and Popular Science. Her passion for social robotics began during her work at the MIT Media Lab, where she focused on using AI to develop machines that address everyday human needs. Andrea cofounded Diligent Robotics to pursue her vision of creating socially intelligent robot assistants that collaborate with humans by doing their chores so humans can have more time for the work they care about. She earned her PhD from MIT and BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from UT Austin. Andrea was also a Robotics Professor at UT Austin and Georgia Tech, where she directed the Socially Intelligent Machines Lab.
Vice President of Emerging Technology Partnerships, IBM Corporation
Leadership in the AI EraDr. Sophie V. Vandebroek is the Vice President of Emerging Technology Partnerships at IBM Corporation, leading strategic initiatives to scale IBM’s ecosystems. One great example of such partnership is the $240/10years MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab which just celebrated its first anniversary. Sophie was previously the Chief Operating Officer for IBM Research, one of the world’s most influential corporate research labs with 5,000 researchers in over 20 locations across the globe. IBM is pioneering promising and disruptive technologies that will transform industries and society, including AI, blockchain and quantum computing.
Prior to joining IBM, Sophie was with Xerox Corporation for over 25 years, including a decade as their Chief Technology Officer. She was responsible for leading Xerox’s global research labs including PARC Inc. which provides custom R&D services to enterprises, startups and government agencies.
Sophie is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and holds 14 US patents. She also serves on the Board of Directors of IDEXX Corporation and on the advisory council of the Dean of the Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Previously Sophie was Director at Analogic Corporation and Nypro Corp and a Trustee at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Sophie earned a master’s degree in engineering from KU Leuven, Belgium, and a PhD in electrical engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
VP of Engineering and Distinguished Scientist, WeWork
Understanding AI for the WorkplaceHaixun Wang is VP of Engineering and Distinguished Scientist at WeWork. He is an IEEE fellow and Editor in Chief of the IEEE Data Engineering Bulletin. Before joining WeWork, he was a Director of Natural Language Processing at Amazon. From 2015 to 2017, he led the NLP organization in Facebook, working on query and document understanding. From 2013 to 2015, he was with Google Research, working on natural language processing. From 2009 to 2013, he led research in knowledge bases, graph systems, and text processing at Microsoft Research Asia. He had been a research staff member at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center from 2000 to 2009. He was Technical Assistant to Stuart Feldman (Vice President of Computer Science of IBM Research) from 2006 to 2007, and Technical Assistant to Mark Wegman (Head of Computer Science of IBM Research) from 2007 to 2009. He received the PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2000. He has published more than 200 research papers in international journals and conference proceedings. He served as PC chairs of many academic conferences, and he is on the editorial board of journals such as IEEE Transactions of Knowledge and Data Engineering (TKDE) and Journal of Computer Science and Technology (JCST). He won the best paper award in ICDE 2015, 10-year best paper award in ICDM 2013, and best paper award of ER 2009.
Associate Editor, MIT Technology ReviewErin Winick is MIT Technology Review’s space reporter. She's particularly interested in the technology that enables space exploration, as well as space-based manufacturing, spurring from her background in mechanical engineering. She produces MIT Technology Review's space tech e-mail newsletter, The Airlock. She previously served as MIT Technology Review’s associate editor of the future of work. Before joining the publication Erin worked as a freelance science writer, founded the 3-D printing company Sci Chic, and interned at the Economist.
Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School
Aligning Technology with a Public PurposeSusan Winterberg is a fellow in the Technology and Public Purpose Project at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Her current research focuses on how business leaders, technologists, and investors in emerging technologies can better integrate environmental, social, and governance considerations into early-stage product designs and business models. Susan previously worked at Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), a global nonprofit membership organization of corporate social responsibility departments at more than 250 multinational companies. At BSR Susan led the team that advised companies and investors on how to tackle challenges of economic inequality and future of work and to develop responsible approaches to managing transitions to automation and artificial intelligence. Her research and projects on responsible business have been featured by NPR, Forbes, Responsible Investor, and Ethical Corporation.
Managing Director of US Public Policy, Microsoft
Policies for a Changing EconomyPortia Wu is Managing Director of US Public Policy for Microsoft; her team handles federal policy issues critical to the technology industry, including Artificial Intelligence, cloud computing, workforce, and emerging technologies. Wu previously served in the Obama Administration and as Labor Counsel to the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
HP Distinguished Technologist and Head of 3D Lab, HP LabsDr. Lihua Zhao, HP Distinguished Technologist, is Head of the 3D lab at HP Labs. In this role, she leads an elite research team to advance HP’s 3D printing technology for future industry revolution.
Dr. Zhao joined HP in January 2009 and spent 4 years leading research efforts on materials design and development for flexible electronics, as well as device fabrication for OLED flexible displays using roll-to- roll processed TFT backplane.
She received her PhD in Organic Chemistry and Materials Science from University of California, Irvine in 2006 and her BS and MS degrees in Chemistry in China. She was honored as an inductee to the UC Irvin School of Physical Science Hall of Fame, named one of the Women Worth Watching in STEM in 2017, and won HP's 2017 Best Disruption Award with her team.
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EmTech Next 2019 Schedule
It’s not another lecture … it’s an invitation to join the conversation.
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
8:00Registration & Breakfast
A welcome from MIT Technology Review’s editor in chief, our EmTech Next emcee.Gideon Lichfield Editor in Chief, MIT Technology Review
9:10The Big Picture
The public discussion on the future of work has followed a narrative that says technology, namely AI and robotics, is coming for your job. This isn’t entirely untrue, but it’s not the whole story. New technologies are destroying jobs and, at the same time, creating new ones. Digital technologies are radically transforming our work and business opportunities, enriching some people and leaving many more behind. To create more inclusive prosperity, we need to better understand what it is about these technological advances that are having negative economic repercussions.David Autor Ford Professor of Economics, MIT
Work of the Past, Work of the FuturePaul Osterman NTU Professor of Human Resources and Management, MIT Sloan School of Management
The Future of Good Jobs
10:30Break & Networking
11:00Responding to the Changing Nature of Work
The future trajectory of technology is under our control. The more we understand the nature of our innovations and the impacts they are having on our lives and economy, the better our decisions about how to use them will be.
How will government respond to the need for sound AI and automation policy? And how will education adapt to this new era, in which understanding the greater political and societal context in which we operate is critical?Portia Wu Managing Director of US Public Policy, Microsoft
Policies for a Changing EconomyCharles Isbell Executive Associate Dean and Professor, Georgia Tech
Equity in Computing
12:00Technology Spotlight: How Will 5G Transform the Future of Work?
Promising faster speed and lower latency, 5G has been hyped as the next wave of wireless innovation. Many questions remain as to when this technology will be available for the public and how security challenges will be addressed. Understand the business implications of 5G and how it could propel innovation in autonomous vehicles, connected factories, smart cities, and more.Muriel Médard Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT
How Will 5G Transform the Future of Work?
12:30Lunch & Networking
Special session beginning at 1:30 pm
AI Hype: Navigating the Bubble
Artificial Intelligence is at peak hype in the business vernacular. In fact, the technology that promises to enable intelligent machines is one of the most hyped across industries, leaving corporations and investors alike desperately trying to understand the value proposition of AI and establish themselves in the space. Since its inception 60 years ago, AI has promised, delivered, and often failed to make good on its promise. This discussion will focus on navigating the current AI bubble: how we got here, how to distinguish the signal from the noise, and address why doing so is crucial to help advance human and technological possibilities.Riva-Melissa Tez Senior Director of Strategic Technology Initiatives, Intel
AI Hype: Navigating the Bubble - Presented by Intel
2:00The Dark Side of On-Demand Work
The gig economy gave a new face to entrepreneurship, promising flexibility and uncapped earning potential—but at what cost? Those critical of on-demand work have raised ethical questions around workplace protections. What will the future of this workforce be, and how can labor laws adapt to meet changing needs?Prayag Narula Founder and President, LeadGenius
Employment as a Charitable FrameworkMary Gray Senior Researcher, Microsoft Research
Ghost Work and the Future of Employment
2:45Debate: Should Robots Be Taxed?
The robot tax proposes that employers who replace employees with automated workers be required to pay a tax, similar to the taxes paid by a human worker. The purpose of such a tax would be to slow the advance of automation while helping to mitigate job loss.
Is the robot tax a viable solution? Our speakers debate.Ryan Avent Economics Columnist, The Economist
Ryan Abbott Professor of Law and Health Sciences, University of Surrey
3:30Break & Networking
4:00Working with Robots: The Future of Collaboration
As the field of robotics advances, how will intelligent systems support people in more natural and intuitive ways? Our speakers outline the latest research in human-robot collaboration and discuss how collective intelligence will make for a stronger and smarter workforce.Andrea Thomaz CEO and Cofounder, Diligent Robotics
Robot Assistants for Everyday Humans Transforming the Meaning of WorkThomas Malone Founding Director, MIT Center for Collective Intelligence
Superminds: The Power of People and Computers Thinking TogetherHenny Admoni Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
Understanding Human Behavior for Better Human-Robot Collaboration
5:00Who’s Getting It Right?
How are cities around the world preparing for an autonomous future? What lessons might be learned from those responding to a rapid digital transition?Philippe Beaudoin Cofounder and Research Group SVP, Element AI
Canada’s AI Ecosystem
5:30EmTech Next Reception
Hosted by Intel
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
8:00Registration & Breakfast
Day Two opens with a preview of the day from MIT Technology Review’s editor in chief, our EmTech Next emcee.Gideon Lichfield Editor in Chief, MIT Technology Review
9:05Leading a Modern Workforce
What does effective leadership look like in the era of AI? What considerations must leaders make amid an uncertain future to help their workforce stay engaged and agile?Sophie Vandebroek Vice President of Emerging Technology Partnerships, IBM Corporation
Leadership in the AI EraRavin Jesuthasan Author and Managing Director, Willis Towers Watson
Leading in Times of Perpetual Reinvention
10:00Technology Spotlight: The Rise of VR in Enterprise Training
A look at how virtual reality is used to create more immersive learning experiences for employee training, in a safe, and cost-effective environment.Derek Belch Founder and CEO, Strivr
Virtual Reality: A Safe Place to Learn
10:30Break & Networking
11:00An Ethical Compass in the Automation Age
As more and more companies embrace automation, what are the ethical expectations and social obligations regarding the displaced workforce? Is ethical automation possible, and if so, what solutions are available to usher a workforce through a digital disruption?Pramod Khargonekar Distinguished Professor of EECS and Vice Chancellor for Research, University of California, Irvine
Socially Responsible Automation: A Framework for Shaping the FutureMeera Sampath Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, State University of New York
Socially Responsible Automation: A Framework for Shaping the FutureSusan Winterberg Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School
Aligning Technology with a Public Purpose
12:05Technology Spotlight: AR for Spacecraft
Understand how AR could transform workspaces and workflow.Shelley Peterson Head of Emerging Technologies, Lockheed Martin
Building Spacecrafts with AR
12:30Lunch & Networking
Special session beginning at 1:30 pm
Leading in an Era of Superminds and Superjobs: Reinvention with a Human Focus
How are senior business leaders preparing their organizations and boards for the redesign of work, workforces, and workplaces to integrate humans and machines in ways that meets the triple challenge of cost savings, value to clients, and meaning to workers? Understanding the roadmap to reinvention, with a human focus, is key for leaders charged with navigating the future of work and AI superhighway.Dan Helfrich Chairman and CEO, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Leading in an Era of Superminds and Superjobs: Reinvention with a Human Focus - Presented by DeloitteNitin Mittal Principal, US Leader – Analytics and Cognitive, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Leading in an Era of Superminds and Superjobs: Reinvention with a Human Focus - Presented by DeloitteRobin Jones US Leader, Workforce Transformation, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Leading in an Era of Superminds and Superjobs: Reinvention with a Human Focus - Presented by Deloitte
2:00Building a Digital-Ready Workplace
How will machine intelligence impact your business environment? From hiring decisions to employee training, learn how to prepare your workforce for digital transformation.Rajen Sheth VP of Product Management, Google Cloud Artificial Intelligence
Building AI for the Enterprise in the 21st CenturyErik Buchanan Head of AI for Hiring Products, LinkedIn
Scaling AI across the WorkforceHaixun Wang VP of Engineering and Distinguished Scientist, WeWork
Understanding AI for the WorkplaceJoe Speicher Executive Director, Autodesk Foundation
Closing the Skills Gap
3:30Break & Networking
A look at current enterprises leveraging machine intelligence and what you can learn from their experience in the field.Jit Kee Chin Chief Data Officer and Executive Vice President, Suffolk
Building Smarter: The Construction Industry’s TransformationBrandon Alexander CEO and Cofounder, Iron Ox
Robots: Farmers of the FutureNatan Linder Cofounder and CEO, Tulip
Inside the Digital Factory
5:00Roundtable: Future Forward
In this session, leading thinkers will share their predictions for what work could look like in the coming decades.Stefanie Tellex Assistant Professor, Brown University
Thomas Kochan Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management
Lihua Zhao HP Distinguished Technologist and Head of 3D Lab, HP Labs
Venue + Travel
June 11-12, 2019
MIT Media Lab
EmTech Next 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:
$294/night + 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 Next room block.
The group rate expires on May 20, 2019.
Boston Marriott Cambridge
Discounted Conference Rate:
$309/night + 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 Next room block.
The group rate expires on May 20, 2019.
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.
Ambassador Brattle: 617.492.1100
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