MIT Media Lab and Bank of America Announce Center for Future Banking

The MIT Media Laboratory and Bank of America have announced the creation of the Center for Future Banking, a five-year collaboration. The new center, which will be located at the Media Lab on the MIT campus, will explore new ideas in banking by inventing technologies that reveal and leverage insights across a wide range of physical and social scales, from one-on-one customer interactions to global transactions.

"We are bringing together the creative, multidisciplinary research of Media Lab faculty and students with the real-world business experience and deep-domain knowledge of our Bank of America colleagues--all in a highly innovative environment that promotes unconventional thinking and risk-taking," said Frank Moss, Director of the Media Lab and holder of the Jerome Wiesner Professorship of Media Arts and Sciences. "In doing so, we hope not only to discover the principles that will transform banking in the next decade, but also to advance our basic understanding of the rapidly changing relationship between people, technology, and society in the 21st century."

He said he believes the Center represents a powerful new model by which academia and business will partner to invent the future of entire industries.

In a statement the Center said researchers will address such questions as: How can every customer be empowered with the knowledge and tools to take better control of their financial futures? How will banking interactions evolve as a customer's physical and virtual worlds become completely intertwined? And how will social networks and mobile platforms transform customers' banking experiences, making it easier, more convenient, and better integrated with their daily lives?

"The Center sets the stage for potentially path-breaking research that will tap into core Media Lab capabilities and extend them in exciting new directions," said Professor Deb Roy, chair of MIT's academic program in Media Arts and Sciences and a researcher in the areas of cognitive modeling, communication theory and human-machine interaction. Roy will serve as the Center's founding director and principal investigator.

The bank has committed $3 million to $5 million annually to the project.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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