A guided tour of the new MIT museum

A guided tour of the new MIT museum

A guided tour of the new MIT museum

>>> DOWNLOAD MP3 <<<

LIGO prototype

Developed by Emeritus Professor Rainer Weiss ’55, PhD ’62, and his students, this 1970s prototype led to the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), a large-scale physics experiment that has finally was able to detect the gravitational waves predicted by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. This work earned Weiss the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics.


“The experiments that LIGO was able to facilitate feel magical to me, as a non-physicist,” Nuñez says. “Can you imagine what it was like to be there when they found out it worked? What an incredible moment for humanity!


One of the first social robots designed to simulate social interactions, Kismet was created in the 1990s by Cynthia Breazeal, SM ’93, ScD ’00, who is now MIT’s Dean for Digital Learning and group leader of personal robot research at the MIT Media Lab. . Originally controlled by 15 different computers, Kismet used 21 motors to create facial expressions and body postures.

“I have a great affinity for this particular artifact,” says Nuñez, who studied with Breazeal at the Media Lab. “It’s such a charismatic object; it’s one of the museum’s Instagram moments.


Developed by Julie Shah ’04, SM ’06, PhD ’11, IRGO is an interactive robot that museum visitors can help train through demonstrations of artificial intelligence. “Our visitors participate in real robotics research,” says Nuñez. “This is such a rare and special opportunity.”

Today, Shah is the HN Slater Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT and head of the Interactive Robotics Group in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. She shares her thoughts on AI in a nearby audio gallery. Other alumni featured in this gallery include Professor Rosalind Picard, SM ’86, ScD ’91, Director of the Media Lab’s Affective Computing Research Group, and Media Lab PhD students Matt Groh, SM ’19, and Pat Pataranutaporn, SM ’20.

“We want to be able to expose the fact that there are communities of people behind everything you see,” Nuñez says.

coded gaze

Visitors to the AI ​​gallery can see the mask used by Joy Buolamwini, SM ’17, PhD ’22, to present a white face – rather than her own black face – to facial recognition software, which she found less accurate for skinned people. In his doctoral dissertation, Buolamwini coined the term “coded gaze” to describe algorithmic bias.


Do you find AfroNaija useful? Click here to give us five stars rating!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button