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The Sorcerers and Their Apprentices: How the Digital Magicians of the MIT Media Lab Are Creating the Innovative Technologies That Will Transform Our Lives | [Frank Moss]

The Sorcerers and Their Apprentices: How the Digital Magicians of the MIT Media Lab Are Creating the Innovative Technologies That Will Transform Our Lives

If you've ever read a book on an e-reader, unleashed your inner rock star playing Guitar Hero, built a robot with LEGO Mindstorms, or ridden in a vehicle with child-safe air bags, then you've experienced first hand just a few of the astounding innovations that have come out of the Media Lab over the past 25 years. But that’s old hat for today’s researchers, who are creating technologies that will have a much deeper impact on the quality of people’s lives over the next quarter century.
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Publisher's Summary

If you've ever read a book on an e-reader, unleashed your inner rock star playing Guitar Hero, built a robot with LEGO Mindstorms, or ridden in a vehicle with child-safe air bags, then you've experienced first hand just a few of the astounding innovations that have come out of the Media Lab over the past 25 years. But that’s old hat for today’s researchers, who are creating technologies that will have a much deeper impact on the quality of people’s lives over the next quarter century.

In this exhilarating tour of the Media Lab's inner sanctums, we'll meet the professors and their students - the sorcerers and their apprentices - and witness first hand the creative magic behind inventions such as:

  • Nexi, a mobile humanoid robot with such sophisticated social skills she can serve as a helpful and understanding companion for the sick and elderly
  • CityCar, a foldable, stackable, electric vehicle of the future that will redefine personal transportation in cities and revolutionize urban life
  • Sixth Sense, a compact wearable device that transforms any surface – wall, tabletop or even your hand - into a touch screen computer
  • PowerFoot, a lifelike robotic prosthesis that enables amputees to walk as naturally as if it were a real biological limb
Through inspiring stories of people who are using Media Lab innovations to confront personal challenges - like a man with cerebral palsy who is unable to hum a tune or pick up an instrument yet is using an ingenious music composition system to unleash his “inner Mozart”, and a woman with a rare life-threatening condition who co-invented a revolutionary web service that enables patients to participate in the search for their own cures - we’ll see how the Media Lab is empowering us all with the tools to take control of our health, wealth, and happiness.

©2011 Frank Moss (P)2011 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Out of the creative chaos at the MIT Media Lab have come fantastical inventions that have changed how we work, play, and live. Frank Moss’ stories of the ‘digital magicians’ behind these experiments and discoveries are inspiring and engaging." (Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google)

"MIT Media Lab has been inventing the future for more than 25 years. Frank Moss explains how - and the lessons can help you be more creative and your organization be more innovative." (Steve Case, Co-founder of AOL, Chairman of the Startup America Partnership, and co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship)

"This book will be a delight for anyone who cares about innovation. For more than twenty-five years, the MIT Media Lab has been inventing the future and humanizing technology. Weaving fascinating tales with insightful concepts, Frank Moss tells us how. He shows the way to harness passion and break down the walls between disciplines in order to unleash creativity in fields ranging from robotics to music to the making of mechanical limbs." (Walter Isaacson, CEO and president, The Aspen Institute, former chairman and CEO of CNN, and best selling author of Einstein: His Life and Universe)

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    Michael Jamaica Plain, MA, United States 10-22-11
    Michael Jamaica Plain, MA, United States 10-22-11

    specular

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    "Like a promotional press release..."

    ... corporate glow-speak to track investors. Writing style includes too many tedious long listings of the benefits and accomplishments. The narrator's voice is right out of Romper Room daycare. And his falsetto when quoting females seems quite unnecessary. Meanwhile, the kids don't get to sleep much while they passionately endeavor to help mankind with modern technology. Of course no mention of MIT's historic connections with developing spy gear, although most of the lab's developments praised in the book would almost certainly have clandestine usefulness. Try Secret Empire by Taubman, or Spycraft by Wallace, Melton et al instead to learn about the other cool stuff labs at MIT have been involved with.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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    Robert Invermere, British Columbia, Canada 03-20-12
    Robert Invermere, British Columbia, Canada 03-20-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Makes you love science again"
    If you could sum up The Sorcerers and Their Apprentices in three words, what would they be?

    Makes science fun


    Any additional comments?

    if you like technology, education and multidisciplinary studies and how things may shape up in the future, this book is bought to you by the man on the inside - the Media Lab director. Makes you dream about the future and the greater good for humanity.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Bill at Torg Stories Indiana native in New England 09-15-12
    Bill at Torg Stories Indiana native in New England 09-15-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Helped me Rethink my Teaching"

    The writer's phrase "antidiscipline" grabbed my attention. Sometimes I'm not sure about my professional move toward being interdisciplinary rather than an "expert" on a really narrow topic. This book helps me take confidence in the direction I'm headed as a writer, teacher, and filmmaker.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Casey Rosemount, MN, United States 02-18-12
    Casey Rosemount, MN, United States 02-18-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Informative and exciting!"

    It was very fun finding out what happens MIT's new Media Lab. I am a technology lover, and I constantly follow the different kinds of technological and scientific breakthroughs. So, after listening to what MIT's students are up to, I was very surprised and excited for things to come!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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