Artificial Intelligence for Augmentation and Productivity Seed Grants
Bringing together researchers from computing, social sciences, and management, seven interdisciplinary projects are exploring how artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction can be leveraged to enhance modern workspaces to achieve better management and higher productivity.
Funded by Andrew W. Houston ’05 and Dropbox, Inc., the seed grants will enable the project teams to conduct exploratory research that can lead to bigger, more substantial endeavors in this rapidly evolving area, as well as build community around questions relevant to AI-augmented management.
- “LLMex: Implementing Vannevar Bush’s Vision of the Memex Using Large Language Models”
Patti Maes of the Media Lab and David Karger of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)
Inspired by Vannevar Bush’s Memex, this project proposes to design, implement, and test the concept of memory prosthetics using Large Language Models (LLMs). The AI-based system will intelligently assist an individual keep track of vast amounts of information, accelerate productivity, and reduce errors by automatically recording their work actions and meetings, supporting retrieval based on metadata and vague descriptions, and suggesting relevant, personalized information proactively based on the user’s current focus and context.
- “Using AI Agents to Simulate Social Scenarios”
John Horton of the MIT Sloan School of Management and Jacob Andreas of EECS and CSAIL
This project imagines the ability to easily simulate policies, organizational arrangements, and communication tools with AI agents before implementation. Tapping into the capabilities of modern LLMs to serve as a computational model of humans make this vision of social simulation more realistic, and potentially, more predictive.
- “Human Expertise in the Age of AI: Can We Have Our Cake and Eat it Too?”
Manish Raghavan of MIT Sloan and EECS, and Devavrat Shah of EECS and the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems
Progress in machine learning, AI, and in algorithmic decision aids has raised the prospect that algorithms may complement, or even, automate human decision-making in a wide variety of settings. Rather than replacing human professionals, this project sees a future where AI and algorithmic decision aids play a role that is complementary to human expertise.
- “Implementing Generative AI in U.S. Hospitals”
Julie Shah of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and CSAIL; Retsef Levi of MIT Sloan and the Operations Research Center; Kate Kellog of MIT Sloan; and Ben Armstrong of the Industrial Performance Center
In recent years, studies have linked a rise in burnout from doctors and nurses in the U.S. with increased administrative burdens associated with electronic health records and other technologies. This project aims to develop a holistic framework to study how generative AI technologies can both increase productivity for organizations and improve job quality for workers in healthcare settings.
- “Generative AI Augmented Software Tools to Democratize Programming”
Harold Abelson of EECS and CSAIL, Cynthia Breazeal of the Media Lab, and Eric Klopfer of the Comparative Media Studies/Writing
Progress in generative AI over the past year is fomenting an upheaval in assumptions about future careers in software and deprecating the role of coding. This project will stimulate a similar transformation in computing education for those who have no prior technical training by creating a software tool that could eliminate much of the need for learners to deal with code when creating applications.
- “Acquiring Expertise and Societal Productivity in a World of Artificial Intelligence”
David Atkin and Martin Beraja of the Department of Economics, and Danielle Li of MIT Sloan
Generative AI is thought to augment the capabilities of workers performing cognitive tasks. This project seeks to better understand how the arrival of AI technologies may impact skill acquisition and productivity, and to explore complementary policy interventions that will allow society to maximize the gains from such technologies.
- “AI Augmented Onboarding and Support”
Tim Kraska of EECS and CSAIL, and Christoph Paus of the Department of Physics
While LLMs have made enormous leaps forward in recent years and are poised to fundamentally change the way students and professionals learn about new tools and systems, there is often a steep learning curve which people have to climb in order to make full use of the resource. To help mitigate the issue, this project proposes the development of new LLM-powered onboarding and support systems that will positively impact the way support teams operate and improve the user experience.