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Computing the Future: MIT Scientists Tell All

What are the biggest technological challenges facing today’s computer scientists? What new research is on the horizon, how will it change the way that we use computers, and what will the digital landscape look like in 10 years?

If any one group could address these questions it would be the scientists at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). Since its founding 50 years ago, the lab has been at the center of the technology revolution. Lab members brought the world everything from public key encryption to the spreadsheet to the World Wide Web, and continue to tackle the toughest challenges in fields like wireless communications and big data.

A panel of CSAIL’s leading thinkers, including Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, economist Andrew Lo, roboticist Russ Tedrake, and CSAIL Director Daniela Rus, will discuss their current research, how it will play out down the road, and what it means for today’s innovators and entrepreneurs.


  1. How will the Web evolve over the next 20 years as technology and the way we use and interact with new devices advance?
  2. Websites, mobile phone apps, credit card companies, and, as we’ve seen recently, the U.S. government, all gather vast amounts of data on consumers. How can we ensure that the personal information being gathered is not used for detrimental purposes and that the average Internet user has the ability to control how his or her information is used?
  3. It’s been said that, in the future, we’ll go from using personal computers and devices to personal robots. How will this evolution take shape, and in what ways will it change the technological landscape?
  4. How is technology transforming the fields of economics and finance, and how can it help protect individuals and institutions from financial risk?
  5. Computation has already transformed a variety of fields, from medicine to neuroscience to manufacturing. Where will it have the biggest impact in the future, and what areas of research should we be paying attention to now that will play out in big ways down the line?



Abby Abazorius, Communications Coordinator, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab

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