The Media Lab develops technology for enabling learning and expressing by people and machines. We collaborate with industry through a process of imagination and realization, critique and reflection, and iteration.
We are exploring how human creativity, learning, social and physical interactions, and a sense of place guide the inventive process in domains from products to purely expressive activities. We focus on how corporations, communities, and individuals learn through innovation.
Our focus is the creation of engineered systems on an unprecedented scale, i.e., the development of a theory of engineering emergence that can guide the creation of enormously complex systems without explicitly specifying how they work, so that success can be an emergent property.
We are building intimate sensory and cognitive connections between humans and digital systems augment our existing senses, and can also help us develop a new human sense that is complementary to, but unbounded by, our five biological senses.
We are addressing how to bring digitally enabled services to everyone on earth and developing grassroots design initiatives with the goal to create a sustainable digital ecology that maintains traditional values and community while opening economic and expressive opportunities.
Curious machines are sometimes robots, sometimes agents, and occasionally just lightweight gizmos that we encounter in everyday life. Imbued with cognitive, social, and emotional intelligence, we build into them an inquisitive nature so that they learn by working with us and teach by helping out.
Communications is becoming diffused, embedded in everyday things, personally owned, and incrementally changed-a consumer industry versus a universal infrastructure. Viral Communications is the organizing principle for work in sensing, data representation, human economic behavior, and interaction.
To give computers common sense is not to give them in-depth reasoning skills; rather, it is to imbue them with the breadth of knowledge about the physical, social, sensory, emotional, and psychological relationship people have with the world around them.
Things That Think (TTT) brings together sponsor companies Media Lab researchers working toward a common goal: to design and invent the future of digitally augmented things. TTT's paradigm-breaking perspective is developing the products and services of tomorrow.
Digital Life (DL) is redefining a connected world as a world built by everyone, for everyone, and filled with machines that react with natural behavior–bringing us more in touch with the human experience. This is a shift in design from one based on adapting raw technology to one motivated by the culture, intelligence, and expressive demands.
information: organized (i:o) focuses its core research on three areas: "intelligent" machinery for describing and analyzing digital content; expressive modes of presentation and visualization of digital content; and tools to engage "information consumers" in discourse around digital content.
Digital Nations (DN) aims to address major social challenges (improving education, enhancing health care, supporting community development) through the innovative design and use of new technologies. The ultimate goal is to empower people in all walks of life to invent new opportunities for themselves.
Changing Places (CP), a joint Media Laboratory and Department of Architecture consortium, explores how new technologies, materials, and strategies for design can make possible dynamic, evolving places that respond to the complexities of life.
The Communications Futures Program (CFP) is a collaboration across MIT’s Schools of Engineering, Management, and Architecture to invent industry roadmaps. The goal is to define the future structures of the changing communications industry, and to develop the critical technologies necessary to guide investment.