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What is the most intelligent way to behave? Dr. Wissner-Gross explains how the latest research findings in physics, computer science, and animal behavior suggest that the smartest actions — from the dawn of human tool use all the way up to modern business and financial strategy — are all driven by the single fundamental principle of keeping future options as open as possible. Consequently, he argues, intelligence itself may be viewed as an engine for maximizing future freedom of action. With broad implications for fields ranging from management and investing to artificial intelligence, Dr. Wissner-Gross’s message reveals a profound new connection between intelligence and freedom.

Dr. Alexander D. Wissner-Gross is an award-winning scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur. He serves as an Institute Fellow at the Harvard University Institute for Applied Computational Science and as a Research Affiliate at the MIT Media Laboratory.


About the Speaker

Alex Wissner-Gross

Alex Wissner-Gross

Dr. Alexander D. Wissner-Gross is an award-winning scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur. He serves as an Institute Fellow at the Harvard University Institute for Applied Computational Science and as a Research Affiliate at the MIT Media Laboratory. He has received 109 major distinctions, authored 15 publications, been granted 19 issued, pending, and provisional patents, and founded, managed, and advised 4 technology companies, 1 of which has been acquired. In 1998 and 1999, respectively, he won the U.S.A. Computer Olympiad and the Intel Science Talent Search. In 2003, he became the last person in MIT history to receive a triple major, with bachelors in Physics, Electrical Science and Engineering, and Mathematics, while graduating first in his class from the MIT School of Engineering. In 2007, he completed his Ph.D. in Physics at Harvard, where his research on smart matter, pervasive computing, and machine learning was awarded the Hertz Doctoral Thesis Prize. His work has been featured in over 100 news outlets worldwide including The New York Times, CNN, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and BusinessWeek.