Making a Better World | Computing and Artificial Intelligence

The new MIT Schwarzman College of Computing will reorient the Institute to: bring the power of computing and AI to all fields of study at MIT; allow the future of computing and AI to be shaped by insights from all other disciplines; and advance research and education in public policy and ethical considerations to help ensure that new technologies are conceived and implemented in support of the greater good.

                    Selected Stories

MIT reshapes itself to shape the future

Gift of $350 million establishes the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, an unprecedented commitment to world-changing breakthroughs and their ethical application. "Faculty in a range of departments have a great deal to gain from new kinds of algorithmic tools," says Melissa Nobles, Kenan Sahin Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, "and a great deal of insight to offer their makers.” More

Provost's letter to the faculty about the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing


FAQ on the newly established MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing

This set of FAQs offers information about the founding of the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, announced today, and its implications for the MIT community and beyond.


Are home health aides the new Turing Test for AI?

Professor David Mindell asks "What does it mean for a machine to be intelligent?"  More

Abby Everett Jaques


Ethical AI by Design | Q&A with Abby Everett Jaques, PhD '18

Jaques, an MIT postdoctoral associate, is bringing the tools of philosophy to ethical questions related to information technologies.   More

Captivating algorithms: Recommender systems as traps

There is a tendency among these systems’ makers to describe their purpose as ‘hooking’ people – enticing them into frequent or enduring usage. More

Why Artificial Intelligence Like AlphaZero Has Trouble With the Real World

The latest artificial intelligence systems start from zero knowledge of a game and grow to world-beating in a matter of hours. But researchers are struggling to apply these systems beyond the arcade. More

The AI boom is happening all over the world, and it’s accelerating quickly

The second annual AI Index report pulls together data and expert findings on the field’s progress and acceleration More

Universal income vs. the robots: Meet the presidential candidate fighting automation

7 questions for Andrew Yang, the 2020 US presidential candidate pushing for basic income. More

sound wave and music tech gear

Music technology accelerates at MIT

An increasingly popular program is drawing students eager to build — and use — the next generation of tools for making music. More

MIT student group explores the ethical dimensions of artificial intelligence.

MIT AI Ethics Reading Group was founded by students who have seen firsthand that technology developed with the best of intentions can still be problematic. More

How 200-year-old Brooks Brothers is embracing AI and millennials — and why it may cozy up to Amazon

Fashion and AI meet More

Aligning AI with basic human values

Article at Brookings discusses why it is important that each of the primary qualities of artificial intelligence accords with basic human values. "Each of the AI features has the potential to move civilization forward in progressive ways. But without adequate safeguards or the incorporation of ethical considerations, the AI utopia can quickly turn into dystopia."   More

icon of self driving car

The Trolley Problem, continued

The news and feature stories collected here refer to "The Trolley Problem," a moral philosophy thought experiment developed by MIT philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomson. For context, we provide background information on her original work. More

Why We Need to Audit Algorithms

"Ensuring that societal values are reflected in algorithms and AI technologies will require no less creativity, hard work, and innovation than developing the AI technologies themselves. We have a proposal for a good place to start: Auditing."  More

AI thinks like a corporation—and that’s worrying

Artificial intelligence was born of organisational decision-making and state power; it needs human ethics, says Jonnie Penn of the University of Cambridge More

MIT Open Learning launches Center for Advanced Virtuality

The new center will explore how MIT can use virtual reality and artificial intelligence and other technologies to better serve human needs. More

Robot Reality Check: They Create Wealth—and Jobs


Economists say automation is the key to next boom, and the U.S. is falling behind More

How technological innovation could amplify income inequality

"Technological advancement often brings the promise of increased efficiency in the workplace. But it also means apprehension about humans potentially being replaced by automation and artificial intelligence. In a new series, The Future of Work, Paul Solman explores the concept of 'creative destruction' and how innovation is poised to affect jobs, income inequality, mental health and more." More

AI and Automation Will Replace Most Human Workers Because They Don't Have to Be Perfect—Just Better Than You


The future of human work. More

Can we trust AI lie detectors?


From the Chips with Everything podcast More

Could AI predict crime?

UK police wants AI to stop violent crime before it happens


Robots could help us take care of our elderly

Our aging population could make such a future inevitable. More

MIT to invest $1 billion in AI research

In its first fundamental restructuring in nearly 70 years, MIT announces that it will pump $1 billion into a new college focused on computing and artificial intelligence. More

I think, therefore I code


Senior Jessy Lin, a double major in EECS and philosophy, is programming for social good. More

laughing room poster


Inside The Laughing Room

An AI-powered laugh track amuses and unsettles in interactive installation. A work by Jonny Sun in collaboration with Hannah Davis, Christopher Sun, and MIT associate professor of literature Stephanie Frampton, head of the ARTificial Intelligence project   More

Artificial intelligence hits the barrier of meaning


Machine learning algorithms don’t yet understand things the way humans do — with sometimes disastrous consequences.  More

The Quartz guide to artificial intelligence


What is it, why is it important, and should we be afraid? More

Exploring the future of learning through virtual and augmented reality

At a recent symposium, MIT Open Learning invited experts to discuss the power of VR and AR tools to drive engagement with education. More

An AI pioneer, and the researcher bringing humanity to AI


The conscience of AI.  More

The World of A.I.

Judging by the breathless coverage, it can seem as if the only countries developing A.I. are the United States and China. But it’s still early for the industry and other nations are working hard to become major A.I. players. More

MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future announces advisory and research boards

Leaders from industry, academia, labor, government, foundations, andother organizations, as well as leading scholars in related fields, will provide guidance. More

Online hate is spreading; Internet platforms can't stop it

Media companies have not figured out what to do about the threats and abuse that pollute their platforms. More

Will there be a ban on killer robots?

Without a nonproliferation agreement, some diplomats fear the world will plunge into an algorithm-driven arms race. “A lot of A.I. technologies are being developed outside of government and released to the public. These technologies have generic capabilities that can be applied in many different domains, including in weaponization.”   More