Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson, the president of Iceland, visited MIT on Friday, partaking in talks with a number of campus leaders and professors, and touring the Media Lab.
Jóhannesson visited the Institute together with a considerable delegation of officers and students from Iceland. They met with MIT students, who delivered quite a lot of shows on analysis, design, and entrepreneurship; the Iceland delegation additionally had a selected curiosity within the inclusion of the Icelandic language in synthetic intelligence-driven instruments that mechanically acknowledge, translate, and deploy speech and texts.
“We’re decided to ensure that Icelandic has a spot within the digital age,” Jóhannesson mentioned. “AI performs a key function there.” In working to have Icelandic represented in machine-translation, voice-recognition, and related language instruments, he added: “We need to be sure it’s in our curiosity, and to the good thing about mankind.”
Along with the shows, the delegation additionally met with Hashim Sarkis, dean of MIT’s College of Structure and Planning (SA+P).
“You will need to put the human being entrance and middle,” Sarkis mentioned, describing the priorities of Media Lab researchers and MIT students and college students.
Sarkis added that many researchers on the Media Lab, SA+P, and throughout the Institute have “a really deep curiosity in design, as [an] method to fixing issues on the earth.”
Jóhannesson was first elected president of Iceland in 2016, then reelected with a big majority to his second time period in 2020. By coaching, Jóhannesson is an expert historian who has studied and written extensively about trendy Iceland. He obtained his undergraduate diploma in historical past and political science from the College of Warwick in England; his MA in historical past from the College of Iceland; an MSt in historical past from St. Antony’s School at Oxford College; and his PhD in historical past from Queen Mary College of London.
The Icelandic delegation sat down for a sequence of discussions with MIT college and directors. Krystyn Van Vliet, affiliate provost, affiliate vp for analysis, and the Michael and Sonja Koerner Professor of Supplies Science and Organic Engineering, mentioned MIT’s analysis mission and the Kendall Sq. innovation ecosystem.
Daniela Rus, the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Laptop Science, director of the Laptop Science and Synthetic Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), and deputy dean of analysis for the MIT Schwarzman School of Computing, talked about CSAIL, the state of AI, and, in dialogue with the Iceland group, mentioned the appliance of AI to language-recognition and translation duties.
The group additionally had a face-to-face dialogue about entrepreneurship and the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program with Scott Stern, the David Sarnoff Professor of Administration on the MIT Sloan College of Administration.
Kelly Gavin, supervisor of philanthropic relations on the Media Lab, gave the group a tour of the lab, which included a chat on pure language processing by Media Lab PhD scholar Pedro Colon-Hernandez; the group mentioned analysis within the discipline and the potential of AI-driven instruments to help individuals in on a regular basis life.
“You want expertise, however you additionally want some moral considering behind it,” Jóhannesson mentioned.
Jóhannesson displayed a fast wit throughout his go to, quipping to Sarkis that he was “on unpaid go away” from his educational publish whereas serving as Iceland’s president. When Rus talked about that MIT identifies buildings by quantity moderately than title, and that she labored in Constructing 32, the president joked that in Iceland, “I’m in Constructing 1.”
The go to was coordinated by MIT’s Industrial Liaison Program (ILP), with ILP program director Marie-Teresa Vander Sande organizing, in collaboration with SA+P, which hosted the occasion on the Media Lab.
The go to additionally integrated a lunch with Icelandic MIT college and Boston-area researchers, together with Elfar Adalsteinsson, the Eaton-Peabody Professor within the Division of Electrical Engineering and Laptop Science; Svafa Grönfeldt, a professor of the apply within the College of Structure and Planning and school director of MITdesignX; and Jónas Oddur Jónasson, an assistant professor on the MIT Sloan College of Administration.
The president’s go to concluded with one other sit-down discuss, with Grönfeldt and Gilad Rosenzweig, government director of MITdesignX.
The Icelandic delegation consisted of a couple of dozen different authorities officers, enterprise leaders, and students, together with Sif Gunnarsdóttir, the president’s chief of employees; Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir, Iceland’s minister for tradition and enterprise; and Nikulás Hannigan, consul normal and commerce commissioner at Iceland’s U.S. Embassy.