Assembly is a collaboration of the Berkman Klein Center & the MIT Media Lab. The program gathers technologists, managers, and policymakers to confront emerging problems related to the ethics and governance of artificial intelligence. Over four months, participants engage in a design-thinking process, a course led by Harvard and MIT faculty, and a collaborative development period to explore hard problems with running code.
Assembly is currently in its third iteration. In 2017, the Assembly pilot program focused on the future of digital security. Check out our first cohort's bios and project pages. In 2018, our second cohort came together to tackle the challenges of artificial intelligence and its governance. Read the 2018 cohort's bios and check out their projects.
Assembly is a program hosted by the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and the MIT Media Lab to encourage interdisciplinary learning, collaboration across sectors, and the conversion of ideas into tools and actionable policies.
Assembly's structure allows participants to step back from day-to-day goals and to explore novel solutions to deep problems. The program runs for four months, and includes team-building, ideation, a short course, and a project development period.
The first iteration of the program ran from January to April 2017. The cohort was made up of sixteen developers and tech industry professionals from various sectors - private, public, civil, academia – who collaboratively investigated solutions to digital security problems. Visit the program and project page to see what the cohort accomplished.
The second iteration ran from January to April 2018 and focused on artificial intelligence and its governance. The nineteen-person interdisciplinary cohort included machine learning experts, project managers, policymakers, a historian, and an artist. Read the 2018 cohort's bios and check out their projects.
The third iteration of the program runs from March to June 2019. More information about the 2019 program is below.
The Berkman Klein Center and the MIT Media Lab have combined forces, as part of the larger Ethics and Governance in Artificial Intelligence Initiative, to support a third iteration of Assembly. The 2019 Assembly program, beginning on March 11th and ending on June 15th, will challenge Assemblers to confront emerging problems related to the ethics and governance of artificial intelligence. The program includes a team building and ideation period, a short course on the governance and ethics of AI, and a twelve-week development period.
Assembly is a program where professionals with experience working in the space of artificial intelligence and its governance can learn, collaborate, and innovate together.
At the beginning of the program, the cohort's time will be devoted to team building activities, skill sharing sessions, and ideation exercises. During the ideation process, the cohort will explore project ideas proposed by members of the cohort and our communities. During these first two weeks, participants will settle on projects to pursue during the development period with preliminary project teams.
In the first week of the program, the cohort will participate in a short course, co-taught by Professor Jonathan Zittrain, co-founder of the Berkman Klein Center, and Professor Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab. The class will cover foundational technical, philosophical , and legal material on emerging problems in the space of artificial intelligence and governance. In addition to Professors Zittrain and Ito, we will bring in expert speakers throughout the program.
The main portion of the program is the twelve-week development period. The cohort will divide into project teams and execute project ideas developed during the ideation process. Teams are supported by Assembly staff and an expert Advisory Board, which includes Harvard and MIT professors, tech industry professionals, and artificial intelligence experts. The Advisory Board will meet with Assembly project teams every few weeks throughout the development period.
At the end of the development period, the Assembly project teams will present their outputs to the Advisory Board and Berkman Klein and MIT Media Lab communities.
Throughout the program, Assembly staff will provide light project management, including facilitated team-building, a guided ideation process, and regular group check-ins. However, participants and teams will take the lead in setting and fulfilling their goals.
Assembly is a project run out of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and the MIT Media Lab. The project is part of the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund.
If you have any questions about the program or would like to get in touch, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.