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‘Beyond the Elephant in the Room’- MIT Media Lab Southeast Asia Forum

As one of the most reputable institutions, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) holds some of the world’s leading research in science, engineering, design, and arts that encourage the exploration and creation of cutting-edge technologies capable of changing the world – and now MIT is bringing its expertise to Southeast Asia. 

This year, the MIT Media Lab, the institution’s interdisciplinary research lab, is bringing the latest research and insights to Bangkok at the “MIT Media Lab Southeast Asia Forum” from 19 – 21 December 2022. This 3-day event will be co-hosted by KBTG and Bangkok Bank in collaboration with True, the MIT Alumni Association and MQDC. 

With its mission to create a space to share transformative technologies, state-of-the-art research, and the use of emerging technologies to invent a better and more just future, the event will focus on co-creating new possibilities in Southeast Asia. The knowledge-packed event will offer deep and immersive learning opportunities to inspire new generations of forward thinkers, open innovations, and spark creative thinking amongst people under the theme “Beyond the Elephant in the Room”. 

Addressing ‘the Elephant’, or humanity’s greatest challenges that are often ignored, the event will focus on contemporary technology and the envisioned future that can bring about emerging technologies like Extended Intelligence (AI), Hybrid Realities (Xverse), Augmented Creativity, Cyborg Health, Smart Materials, Digital Currency, Space Exploration, and Sustainability. 

A dozen leading experts from the MIT Media Lab, including its students and alumni, will join the event to cover several key topics. 

Key Speakers 

  • Dava Newman – Director of the MIT Media Lab, former NASA Associate (2015-2017), Head of Aerospace Engineering and the faculty leader in Aeronautics and Astronautics and MIT’s School of Engineering for 28 years. Dr. Newman has played a key role in NASA’s human exploration, especially developing and connecting human journey to Mars. 
  • Pattie Maes – Professor at the MIT Media Lab. Maes leads the lab’s Fluid Interfaces research group, researching at the intersection of Human Computer Interaction and Artificial Intelligence, with a focus on applications in health, wellbeing, and learning.  
  • Hiroshi Ishii – Professor at the MIT Media Lab. Ishii is recognized as a founder of “Tangible User Interfaces” (TUI) and the founder of the “Tangible Media Group”. His mission is to make digital tangible, by giving physical form to digital information and computation. 
  • Joe Paradiso – Professor at the MIT Media Lab. Paradiso is the leader of the MIT’s Responsive Environments Group, which explores how sensor networks augment and mediate human experience, interaction, and perception. 
  • Mitchel Resnick – LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab.  Resnick develops new technologies and activities to engage people (particularly children) in creative learning experiences. 
  • Deblina Sarkar – Assistant Professor at the MIT Media Lab and Head of Nano-Cybernetic Biotrek research group. Sakar and her group carry out trans-disciplinary research fusing engineering, applied physics, and biology, aiming to develop technology for nanoelectronics devices and to create new paradigms for the human-machine symbiosis. 
  • Danielle Wood – Assistant Professor at the MIT Media Lab and Head of the Space Enabled research group. Wood is a specialist in aerospace engineering systems. She seeks to advance justice in Earth’s complex systems using designs enabled by space. 
  • David Kong – Director of the MIT Media Lab’s Community Biotech Initiative (CBI). As a synthetic biologist, Kong leads the CBI, whose mission is to empower society with biotechnology. 

MIT’s Students and Alumni 

  • Pat Pataranutaporn – PhD Candidate – MIT Media Lab & KBTG Fellow  

Pataranutaporn isthe first Thai PhD student in the Fluid Interfaces at the MIT Media Lab and is an author of research on Human-AI Interaction, Bio-Digital Interfaces, and Personalized Education. Pataranutaporn explores the intersection of synthetic virtual humans and synthetic biology, specifically at the interface between biological and digital systems. 

  • Irmandy Wicaksono – PhD Candidate, MIT Media Lab 

Exploring the creative interplay between art, design, science, and engineering, Wicaksono has been working closely with textile and flexible electronics factories, making a strong connection between research and manufacturing.  

  • Guy Zyskind – PhD Candidate, MIT Media Lab  

Zyskind’s research in the Media Lab’s Human Dynamics group focuses on data, privacy, and Bitcoin He brings experience in co-developing multiple start-ups, along with being an instructor at MIT in engineering subjects covering Bitcoin/Blockchain and cryptocurrencies.  

  • Ziv Epstein – PhD Candidate, MIT Media Lab.
    With interests in Computational Social Science, Epstein focuses on new challenges and opportunities that emerge from a digital society, particularly in the domains of social media and artificial intelligence. 

This is an opportunity not to be missed, whether you are an engineer, designer, student, tech-enthusiast, or work in the business world. You are cordially invited to attend the “MIT Media Lab Southeast Asia Forum” to envision the future together with leading experts.  

Those interested can register for the event at 

The event will be held from 19 – 21 December 2022. 

From December 19 – 20, the event will be held at True Digital Park. 

On December 21, 2022, the Executive Forum will take place at K+ Building by KBTG (Invitation Only)



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