Ideas Lab (Page 2 of 3)

Traditional Medicine Reimagined Through Modern Systems Biology

presented by Lee Sang-Yup

Why are nat­ur­al com­pounds bet­ter than syn­thet­ic chem­i­cals to treat dis­eases? We have inten­sive­ly ana­lyzed all those known com­pounds in the nat­ur­al prod­ucts, and found that these com­pounds have high­er sim­i­lar­i­ty, espe­cial­ly struc­tur­al sim­i­lar­i­ty, to human metabolites.

Applying Neuroscientific Findings to Enduring Social Problems

presented by Keith Humphreys

When low­er pri­mates form a hier­ar­chy, those at the bot­tom under­go a change in their dopamine sys­tem. This makes them more like­ly to con­sume drugs in an addic­tive fash­ion. Now, if this turns out to be true of our species, that would mean that human beings are par­tic­u­lar­ly vul­ner­a­ble if they’re in some way dom­i­nat­ed or don’t have any power.

From Biomolecular Computing to Internet Democracy

presented by Ehud Shapiro

My main point is that Internet tech­nol­o­gy today does not sup­port the right of assem­bly, and there­fore it can­not and does not sup­port democ­ra­cy. The rea­son is that even though we can eas­i­ly form groups on Google, Facebook, you name it, we don’t know who the peo­ple on the group are.

Reimagining Everyday Devices as Information-Delivery Systems

presented by Chris Harrison

What we’re try­ing to think about now is, take the sort of ven­er­a­ble light bulb and recast it as a com­pu­ta­tion­al appli­ance. So, how do we take some­thing that’s been so remark­ably suc­cess­ful and infuse it with com­pu­ta­tion­al abilities?

Looking to Ants to Better Understand Collective Behaviour

presented by Deborah Gordon

How can we extend what we are learn­ing about how sim­ple local inter­ac­tions in ant colonies or in brains, in the aggre­gate, pro­duce the col­lec­tive behav­ior of the group and the way that it responds to chang­ing con­di­tions? How can we extend what we’re learn­ing about col­lec­tive behav­ior in oth­er sys­tems to begin think­ing about col­lec­tive behav­ior in human social organizations?

Engineering Thoughts and Memories

presented by Jack Gallant

In brain decod­ing, we take our mod­el that we’ve devel­oped of the brain (and this can be a mod­el for any­thing, vision or lan­guage) and we reverse it. And instead of going from the stim­u­lus to the brain activ­i­ty, we go from the brain activ­i­ty back to the stimulus.

The Automated Economy

presented by Illah Nourbakhsh

Instead of hav­ing our chil­dren become con­sumers of robot­ics tech­nol­o­gy, con­sumers of prod­ucts, we’d have to train them to be pro­duc­ers, to real­ize that they can use robot­ic tech­nolo­gies to build some­thing with their intu­ition, their cre­ativ­i­ty, and their sense of pur­pose, that has mean­ing to them. Then we’d have a tech­no­log­i­cal­ly flu­ent society.

Manufacturing Dreams

presented by Dan Yang

We used to think that sleep is a pas­sive process caused by reduced sen­so­ry stim­u­la­tion so that our nor­mal men­tal and phys­i­cal activ­i­ties can shut down. We held this belief since the time of Aristotle, and per­haps even before that. But now we know that this idea is com­plete­ly wrong.

Verifying and Validating Machine Intelligence

presented by Andrew Moore

We’ve been build­ing autonomous vehi­cles for about twenty-five years, and now that the tech­nol­o­gy has become adopt­ed much more broad­ly and is on the brink of being deployed, our earnest fac­ul­ty who’ve been look­ing at it are now real­ly inter­est­ed in ques­tions like, a car sud­den­ly real­izes an emer­gency, an ani­mal has just jumped out at it. There’s going to be a crash in one sec­ond from now. Human ner­vous sys­tem can’t deal with that fast enough. What should the car do?

Transforming the Classroom with Ubiquitous Sensing

presented by Amy Ogan

Education has remained large­ly unchanged for mil­len­nia. In any class­room, you see a set of stu­dents gath­ered around a teacher who’s writ­ing on the board, or maybe now we’ve added a PowerPoint deck. But, as in many oth­er fields that have been slow to change, the data rev­o­lu­tion is com­ing for education.