April 2016 Director’s Fellows Updates

By phewing, 2 years ago

Maurice Ashley has been inducted to the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame. Congrats, Maurice!

You can learn more about it on:

Van Jones is featured in the documentary “Catching the Sun,” an informative and upbeat film about solar energy. You can watch the documentary on Netflix, starting April 22nd. More information is available in this article in People’s World.

BusinessWire.com writes about Sam Kass’s new collaboration with Innit, a food technology star-up: Former White House Chef and Senior Policy Advisor Sam Kass Has Joined Innit to Transform Cooking in the Home

I. Rosenbaum, from the Boston Globe talks about Viktoria Modesta’s influence in the fashion world in Disability meets Design.

Viktoria has been invited to be part of the May, 2016  Music Tech Fest (#MTF), a giant creative laboratory and the global festival of music ideas. As a participant of #MTFLabs Viktoria will work closely with an invited group of artists, creators, makers, designers and inventors to push her creative vision to whole new levels.

Colleen Macklin is excited to announce her new game “Losswords!,” a nerdy mobile game that takes classic literature and turns it into word puzzles. To fund continued development of Losswords! Colleen has initiated a Kickstarter campaign. So if you’re feeling generous…

Tenzin Priyadarshi writes:

It has been an active past few months. The year began with some quiet time in Sri Lanka, and soon continued my engagement with peace reconciliation and education programs in Colombia. Now that the Havana Agreements have been signed between various factions, the work is just beginning. I had the opportunity to participate in Media Lab Tokyo program on Sustainable Futures in January, speaking on Artificial Intelligence and Ethics, exploring the need and pedagogy for developing an ethical framework. What we need are more nuanced conversations around this issue. Also, I addressed the need to focus and prioritize wellbeing of individuals, organizations, and societies and to develop metrics for it. Since then, I have organized and participated in several AI conversations which lead up to our AI & Governance Symposium at the Lab this month, which is shaping very well.

I have been busy teaching and speaking on designing ethics-values based learning programs. I ran a workshop with 200+ teachers in Mexico City this past month on using video games for ethics learning. While in Mexico, I was interviewed by Televisa (who I think were mostly enamored by my temporary mustache).

In March, I got to moderate a delightful conversation with Joi and Shaka as part of Shaka’s book tour. That was the evening we found out his book made it to NYT Bestseller’s list. I am rejoicing in his success and awaiting an HBO series next :)

Early this month, I traveled through Bali and Borobudur, Indonesia for some spiritual retreats and re-emerged in India to speak on ReThinking Education with the government there and other helpful groups. While in India, I met with Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, to discuss the intersection of wellness and technology, as well as the need for translating classical Indian philosophical wisdom to modern day by “crowdsourcing” scholars from all over the world. The sheer size of Indian literature on these subjects makes it impossible for any individual institution or scholar to translate these works in modern languages. With the aid of new technologies, we just might be able to accomplish it.

Allison Tauziet and Andreas Mershin (at the Media Lab’s Center for Bits and Atoms) are collaborating on a nanonose.  They are hoping to teach the nanonose Allison’s wine vocabulary, and his coming July, the nanonose and Allison will go head to head (or nose to nose in this case) in a competition.  Future applications of the nanonose might involve using olfaction for disease detection (such as cancer or Parkinson’s), for pharmaceutical uses, and much more.

Marco Tempest writes:

Here a recent blog post with some storytelling tips from yours truly on Adobe Voice and slate  and some ramblings about AI, robots and magic on NPR’s trace elements podcast.


  • I am presenting at the Microsoft Forum in Milan on April 19 premiering a new gestural sensing “DepthVR” system.


Finally, I am teaching a masterclass and presenting main stage at the TEDSummit in June, the event is jam-packed with labbers and fellows (Ed Boyden, Hugh Herr, Juliana Rotich, Kevin Slavin) Who else is attending?