MIT is arguably one of the world's most prestigious engineering institutes. Thousands of students, professors, and academic superstars flock to MIT to be a part of the latest research on all things science. The most recent development is the MIT Intelligence Quest. The goal, according to MIT Alum David Siegel (SM 1986, Ph.D. 1991), is "crack the code of intelligence." Using a combination of neuroscience, engineering, and computer science, the Intelligence Quest is about finding how intelligence develops in the mind, but framing that search in basic science and engineering terms.
The project is funded by donors that include Google. The initiative is about bringing together experts in artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and other fields to better understand how cognition develops in the human brain and then to hopefully find ways to duplicate that process in machines. Rather than just machine learning, MIT wants to be at the forefront of "Machine thinking" to develop ways that human intelligence can be improved by the technology of computers, AI, and big data. It wouldn't be an MIT project if there weren't plenty of numbers to crunch. Hopefully, by bringing together the top experts from so many fields, the pace of discovery will accelerate.