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MIT Better World

Julie A. Lucas

Since we’re considering “what’s next?” in this issue, how is MIT addressing the rapid adoption of AI in so many facets of life?

At MIT’s Generative AI: Shaping the Future symposium in November 2023, President Sally Kornbluth eloquently made the case that the Institute has an obligation to help society understand the potential of AI but also spread awareness of its potential challenges. Our alumni and friends are a key part of this work as they support the MIT community in its quest for innovation during a period of exceptional technological change.

In this fast-moving landscape, the Institute has launched a number of interdisciplinary projects and activities spanning generative AI policymaking, impact, entrepreneurship, technical advances, and education. One example of many is the use of deep learning and generative AI at the MIT Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, where these powerful new tools are already providing valuable information in the field of cardiovascular medicine.

How is MIT responding to climate change, the defining challenge of our era?

Climate action is a top priority of the Institute, and MIT is uniquely positioned to help forge solutions. Our crossdisciplinary initiatives and research activities around energy, the environment, and access to water and food have global reach, with MIT alumni and friends providing critical support.

A new, whole-of-MIT mobilization, the Climate Project at MIT, will bring our community together to identify critical gaps in the global climate response and experiment with novel ways to deploy our intellectual resources and engage external partners to tackle them. The initiative will be shepherded by new, dedicated Institute climate leadership.

Our exceptional students bring boundless energy to this problem, and at MIT they learn from experts on topics such as clean-energy technologies and how to make crops more resilient. Philanthropy makes it possible for us to hire climate-focused faculty and to establish new fellowships that attract the best graduate students. If we can give our investigators the tools to pursue new ideas, some of the discoveries made at MIT will surely change the world.

Learn more about the Climate Project at MIT