A virtual programmable human will role play with adolescents and adults to teach social and assertiveness skills to prevent and treat depression. “We think this will be especially helpful for kids, who often are reluctant to see a therapist,” Mohr said. The program will allow them to practice these behaviors in the safety of virtual space. Existing online interventions for teens “look like homework,” Mohr noted. The virtual human feels like a game, making it more likely to engage them.
Skip college, work at a startup. Enstitute wants to help establish this type of real-world experience as a credential. It’s working with recruiters from large technology companies to set up interviews for entry-level jobs with program graduates that would give them a chance to compete directly with college graduates. “I’ll put money on it now that our fellows will outperform any green college graduate,” Ittycheria says.
Using a new site called Eyewire, MIT will ask users to track a neuron’s path by coloring in each axon (tendril). In the future, MIT will roll out another “game” which challenges users to find the synapses. The end result will be the connectome (a tome of connections) of the mouse’s retina.
“Suppose that most cars brake automatically when they sense a pedestrian in their path. As more cars with this feature come to be on the road, pedestrians may expect that cars will stop, in the same way that people stick their limbs in elevator doors confident that the door will automatically reopen.”