XRDS: News Archive 2016
GOOGLE DEVELOPS AI OPHTHALMOLOGIST
Spintronics-based artificial intelligence demonstrated
Standardized sharing of data sets and software code
Bringing the dystopian fantasy from The Matrix alive
December 17, 2016 — Leaping into air and springing off a wall, or performing multiple vertical jumps in a row, roboticists at UC Berkeley have designed a small robot which has recorded the highest robotic vertical jumping agility ever. Opening new pathways of locomotion that were not previously attainable, the researchers hope that one day this robot and other vertically agile robots can be used to jump around rubble in search and rescue missions. Find more here.
Now play Pictionary with Google’s AI
December 10, 2016 — Encompassing different areas of AI research, Google is opening up its artificial intelligence research to the masses. The various experiments allow you to play, draw and type along as the computer attempts to guess what you’re up to. A “Giorgio Cam” combines image recognition with musical creation. Another experiment explores sonic inputs, grouping a variety of everyday sounds by similarities to form a cloud of interrelated clicks, clangs and crackles. Google has also put out a call for developers to add their own AI algorithms to the collection. All of the code for the experiments is open-source, and developers are invited to play around with the algorithms and put their own spin on the technology. Follow here.
AI predicts outcomes of human rights trials to 79% accuracy
December 10, 2016 — An artificial intelligence method, developed by researchers in UCL, the University of Sheffield and the University of Pennsylvania, predicted the judicial decisions of the European Court of Human Rights to 79% accuracy. The system relies on the language used as well as the topics and circumstances mentioned in the case text for predicting the court's decision. Previous studies predicted outcomes based on the nature of the crime, or the policy position of each judge. Read more here.
CSAIL deep-learning system generates videos that predict what will happen next in a scene
November 30, 2016 — Supported by the National Science Foundation, the START program at UMBC, and a Google PhD fellowship, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed a deep-learning algorithm that, given a still image from a scene, can create a brief video that simulates the future of that scene. Using a deep-learning method called ‘adversarial learning’ that involves training two competing neural networks, the team aims to us scale up vision systems to recognize objects and scenes without any supervision, simply by training them on video. Read more here.
Predicting flight delays using an Artificial Neural Network
November 30, 2016 — Researchers at Binghamton University of The State University of New York (SUNY) have modeled a new way to predict flight delays using an Artificial Neural Network (ANN), an “interconnected group of computerized nodes that work together to analyze a variety of variables to estimate an outcome.” Integrating 14 variables, some of which include day of the week, origin airport, weather and security, leads to the creation of a schedule of safe landing times for each airplane that has not landed at that moment. The use of an ANN has predicted the length of delays with about 20 percent more accuracy than traditional models and required about 40 percent less time to arrive at those conclusions. Read more here.
USB stick to monitor HIV
November 22, 2016 — Devised by scientists at Imperial College London and DNA Electronics, the technology uses a drop of blood to detect HIV and then creates an electrical signal that can be read by a computer, laptop or handheld device, helping patients to monitor their own treatment. Working on the drawbacks of current tests, that take at least three days or longer to detect the amount of virus, the device can produce a result in less than 30 minutes. Monitoring the viral load being crucial to the success of HIV treatment, testing often requires costly and complex equipment while the equipment developed has been shrunk down to a USB chip. The team is also investigating whether the device can be used to test for other viruses such as hepatitis. Find out more here.
Bridging the gap between computation and storage with liquid silicon
November 22, 2016 — Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are developing computer chips called “liquid silicon” that can be configured to perform complex calculations and store massive amounts of information within the same integrated unit—and communicate efficiently with other chips. Working upon the huge bottleneck when classical computers need to move data between memory and processor, the unified hardware aims to bridge the gap between computation and storage. Unlike typical processor and memory chips that require multiple steps to accomplish even simple operations: first fetching data from the memory, then sending that data all the way through the deep storage hierarchy to the processor core, this hardware, by contrast, incorporates memory, computation and communication into the same device using a layered design called monolithic 3D integration. Read more here.
Margaret Hamilton and Grace Hopper awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom
November 22, 2016 — Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor presented to individuals who have made meritorious contributions to the national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors, was conferred to a batch of 21 deserving recipients, among them computing pioneers Grace Hopper and Margaret Hamilton. Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, a posthumous awardee, worked on some of the earliest computers ever made, like the Mark I, programming and performing research alongside the likes of Howard Aiken and John von Neumann. She aided in the construction of UNIVAC and created the first working compiler. Margaret H. Hamilton is a pioneering computer scientist and former head of the Software Engineering Division of MIT's Instrumentation Laboratory who led the development of on-board flight software for NASA's Apollo moon missions. That they were women in fields and cultures at the time utterly dominated by men only adds to the luster of their achievements. They’re joined by Frank Gehry, Bill and Melinda Gates and a host of others in this batch of recipients. Read more.
CHINESE CHARACTERS ARE FUTURISTIC AND THE ALPHABET IS OLD NEWS
November 11, 2016 — Standards facilitate development; on the other hand, established solutions are more difficult to change. Tom Mullaney, an historian of modern China in Stanford, tell us what is wrong with QWERTY keyboards. Chinese has 75,000 individual characters, and it was historically considered as a language incompatible with modern technology. The first Chinese typewriter was a cumbersome machine of more than 2,000 characters. But Mullaney show us a different view. He explains that the complexity of Chinese characters lead to a large experimentation in the way of thinking about the characters and how to organize them. In China, experimentation is mainstream since there was no established default to fight. Instead, QUERTY with its “what-you-type-is-what-you-get” model is archaic. The company behind T9, the predictive texting system on early Western phones couldn’t use more efficient solutions because their system must conform with the established arrangement. By challenging the primacy of QUERTY, Mullaney is challenging the idea of Western technology protocols default. Find out more!
Researchers Uncover Hidden Censorship on Chinese Live Streaming Apps
November 4, 2016 — Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab unveiled hidden keyword blacklists used popular Chinese live streaming applications: YY, 9158 and Sina Show. The study has surprising results on censorship done by social media companies, who are expected to control content, or face government punishment. The researches found that lists of blacklisted keywords used by different companies have limited overlap, showing that decisions on what exactly to censor is left to the company. Censorship is reactive in response to current events. The study shows that China censor is not uniform but rather decentralized and slightly chaotic. Read more in here
Organize an hour of code during computer science education week
November 4, 2016 — ACM with Code.org, a coalition of organizations dedicated to expanding participation in computer science, invites local volunteers from schools, research institutions, and other groups during Computer Science Education Week, December 5-11, to host an Hour Of Code in their community and give students an opportunity to gain the skills needed for creating technology that's changing the world. Hour of Code, over the past 3 years, has become a global movement designed to generate excitement in young people, introducing over 100 million students in more than 180 countries to computer science.Through games, tutorials and other events, anyone, anywhere, from ages 4 to 104 can try the one-hour tutorials which are available in 40 languages. #HourOfCode
2016 : WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST INTERESTING RECENT [SCIENTIFIC] NEWS? WHAT MAKES IT IMPORTANT?
October 29, 2016 — “It may be one or two more centuries before humans are overtaken or transcended by inorganic intelligence”, Martin Rees, Former President from the The Royal Society. Conjectures about the future of humanity, the most advanced research projects in the world and other things alike are summarized in the answers of 198 top scientist to Edge's year question: “What do you consider the most interesting recent [scientific] news? What makes it important“ Find out more here
SURPRISE COMES OUT OF BLACK-HOLE STUDIES: ERROR-CORRECTING CODES
October 15, 2016 — Scientist are trying to understand what happens with the information content of matter that falls into a black hole. The outcome brings new approaches to error correcting codes for quantum computing. Quantum computers could perform highly parallel computations exponentially faster than traditional computers. One of the challenges is how to perform error correction in this new paradigm. Quantum computers rely on quits that can represent both 0 and 1 simultaneously. Complex computations are still a challenge because tiny changes in the environment can affect the delicate quantum state. Cloning a qubit to increase reliability is impossible. But scientists found that the quantum state can be spread among neighbor qubits without destroying them. This redundancy scheme stores information in the entanglement between qubits. The question is how to identify an efficient entanglement. The answer comes from the analysis of quantum gravity. The quantum model is closed to the gravity theory domain but it has one fewer dimension. In the late 1990s, theoretical physicist Juan Maldacena, proposed a mathematic correspondence that maps some models of gravity onto gravity-free quantum field theories. Because the models are equivalent, solving either one gives insights on the other. "The latest work leads not just to new codes, but new approaches”, said Gottesman of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, in Waterloo. Read more about it here.
COMPUTER EXPERTS IDENTIFY 14 THEMES OF CREATIVITY
October 14, 2016 — Dr Anna Jordanous and Dr Bill Keller have collaborated to identify what people say when they talk about creativity. In their article “Modeling Creativity: Identifying key components through a corpus-based approach”, they considered 14 components: 1. active involvement and persistence; 2. dealing with uncertainty; 3. domain competence; 4. general intellect; 5. generating results; 6. independence and freedom; 7. intention and emotional involvement; 8. originality; 9. progression and development; 10. social interaction and communication; 11. spontaneity and subconscious processing; 12. thinking and evaluation; 13. value; and 14. variety, divergence and experimentation. The components have been used to evaluate the creativity of computational systems. Computational creativity is a relative new field of research. Find out more!
CAN ETHICS TRAINING IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF RESEARCH?
September 30, 2016 — Ethical behavior in research is a must and we need policies and training to raise awareness. It is a shared responsibility. The ultimate responsibility resides on the research but funders and performers play an important role. A problem is that research integrity is not fully understood throughout the community. The practice is full of subtleties. What is research integrity really about? Is it about misconduct and falsification of data? A panel discussion held at ESOF2016 discussed this and other questions. Johannes Klumper, the head of the European Commission unit said that "smaller wrongdoings or smaller weaknesses” like neglecting to cite data that are contrary to your opinion, inappropriate choice of statistical methods are important. Slobodan Radices, member of the EuroScience Governing Board said that young researchers don’t talk about research integrity and don’t know much about it. Read more here!
HOW TO BE A SAVVY SCIENCE READER
September 17, 2016 — This article is full of good advices on how to read science in the news and become a savvy science reader. The author proposes various questions to think critically. Science is exciting but the use of sensationalism in the media can distort the real conclusions made by the scientists. In recent news, there are abundant examples of journalism sensationalism like "the moon triggers big earthquakes and makes them worse!” or “big volcanic eruption in Japan ‘in 30 years’'". Read more here!
IN SENEGAL, YOUNG WOMEN CHALLENGE BOUNDARIES THROUGH CODING
September 16, 2016 — In Senegal, almost 95 percent of Internet connections are done through mobile phones. Youma Fall is a young tech entrepreneur. She is developing a mobile app to help people to swap books and supplies. Bitilokho Ndiaye, the gender adviser at the ministry for posts and telecommunications, warns that less than 30 percent of females have chosen careers in the STEM field. Ndiaye developed “Women in Technology”, a program to help promote coding in the young women community with UNESCO and telecom provider Sonatel as partners. The country is building a tech park in the town of Diamniadio, 30km near Dakar. The African Development Bank would invest circa $80 millions in the project. Now, the country needs more models like Youma to be a good example for other girls. Find out more!
HELLO HUMAN, HOW ARE YOU?' WHEN ROBOTS OBSERVE THEIR OPERATORS
September 8, 2016 — Usually, we humans, control machines. But German researchers are interested in how machines can keep an eye on us. Self-driving cars is a good application example. Trusting the machine decisions raise doubts. We feel comfortable when a person is behind the wheel to hit the brakes if something goes wrong. But, should the machine trust the human? Human errors are a common cause for accidents. At Fraunhofer FKIE in Wachtberg, scientists want to develop robots that recognize when the operator is behaving wrong. They are testing their system for training air traffic controllers. The simulator includes a virtual airspace in which a scientist plays the role of the air traffic controller and the computer analyzes the human’s performance. The computer employs an eye tracker that can even detect microsleep by measuring the frequency and time of eyelid closure. Other devices like special belts can provide more data that can be combined to provide solutions in many practical applications. Read more: here
BEETLES OFFER PEOPLE LESSONS IN MOISTURE CONTROL
September 2, 2016 — Researchers are inspired by the nature to design new surfaces that collect water. Water can be scarce in places like deserts. But organisms that live in such places have evolved to adapt to tough conditions. Now, engineers and scientist want to imitate their insects abilities. For example, the only reliable source of water in the Namib Desert is fog from the sea. Some beetles collect their water in an unusual way by using their shell. The initial intents to reproduce the beetles skill didn’t work. The researchers tried plenty of designs until their success. Most interestingly, they combined various tricks coming from the beetles, the cactus and even the carnivorous plants. Read more here
GODAN SUMMIT 2016 – GATHERING THE KNOWLEDGE TO END HUNGER
August 25, 2016 — The Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) is an organization with the goal to encourage world leaders to make their data in agriculture and nutrition open. Freely available data will help to improve policies and decisions towards ending world hunger. World leaders, researchers, students and other prominent figures will meet at the GODAN Summit 2016 in New York between 15-16th September. Registrations are opened for university students and/or entrepreneurs aged 18-26 years old who want to participate in GODAN Open Data Maker’s Hackaton. In addition, the organization is looking for people interested in writing about the work of GODAN. Find out more here
STANFORD EXPERT: CYBERATTACK WORRIES COULD AFFECT ELECTIONS
August 17, 2016 — Herbert Lin, senior research scholar for cyberpolicy and security at Stanford’s Center for International Security, is interviewed about possible cyberattack that can affect U.S. presidential election. It is a real concern since Hillary Clinton campaign computer networks were infiltrated recently. He says there are two kinds of things that can cause trouble. One is an actual cyberattack that alters vote counts, the other is that an election loser might claim that the results were altered. The expert considers the last worry even more serious. Concerning the recent attacks, if the evidence that Russians are responsible for breaking into the Democratic National Committee computer networks is legitimate, then, the possible answer from the U.S. are diverse but some may be wise while others not. Find out more here
KNOTS IN CHAOTIC WAVES
August 7, 2016 — Researchers from University of Bristol developed computer models to understand better the behavior of quantum waves. The experiments provide light on understanding tangled quantum vortices. The study is relevant for every day life since we are surrounded by waves all the time. In fact, according to quantum mechanics all matter has a wave nature. However, wave chaos are more difficult to understand. This new computer models of wave chaos can create a large number of knots that were previously described in theoretical works. Prof. Mark Dennis thinks that the new computer model is expected to be useful in general frames to understand three-dimensional optical and acoustic environment landscapes. Read more about this here
EU Data Protection Law May End The Unknowable Algorithm
July 18, 2016 — Europe's data protection rules seek to protect citizens against unlawful discrimination. The reliance on automated systems and inaccurate or biased data can have important consequences on discriminated groups. Although companies may not do it intentionally, scores, ranking, and risk calculations may benefit some at the expense of others. Scientists found discrimination trends in various algorithms but proprietary rights don't allow open scrutiny. Europe’s General Data Protection Rules (GDPR) is scheduled to take effect in 2018. Companies that abide by Europe’s GDPR will have to implement algorithms carefully and enable mechanisms for a “a right to explanation”. The regulation presents big challenges for the design of dynamic and self-learning algorithms. One option is to give more control to the user. European regulators want more transparency in the system. Find out more!
Juno probe returns first in-orbit Jupiter photo
July 12, 2016 — The American space agency’s Juno mission is in good health and the first image since Juno is in-orbit Jupiter has been released. The spacecraft’s orbit insertion was done on 5 July (GMT). The picture is significant as it means that the equipment survived Jupiter’s harsh radiation environment. It was taken on Sunday when Juno was about 4.3 million km from Jupiter. Scientist are checking the status on all the probe’s instruments and plan a calibration before the real work starts in October. The mission’s is an attempt to understand what makes Jupiter tick. Juno’s instruments can sense the structure and chemistry of the planet’s deep interior. Read more here!
RESEARCHERS DEPLORE U.K. DECISION TO LEAVE THE EUROPEAN UNION
June 28, 2016 — Although the research community urged voters to remain in the Europe Union, last night’s decision seems to show that voters didn’t have science foremost in their minds. Europe’s Horizon 2020 and EU free-movement play an important role in fostering scientific activities. Young european researchers are mostly living on soft money. UK still needs to decide if they will participate in Horizon 2020 program by paying an “associate” share in proportion to its GDP. Membership to European organizations that operate outside the E.U. is not affected. But the decision brought considerable uncertainty in various fields including health, fusion research and the pharmaceutical industry. Speculation has already begun about who will host the European Medicines Agency with headquarters in London. There is also uncertainty about the Joint European Torus, the facility to investigate fusion as a new energy source. More details here.
SHOULD YOUR DRIVERLESS CAR HIT A PEDESTRIAN TO SAVE YOUR LIFE?
June 28, 2016 — Programming autonomous vehicles pose difficult questions for society. Scientists and psychologists conducted six surveys to asked U.S. residents how should self-driving cars react in an accident. If the machine has to decide between the life of the passengers or pedestrians, who will survive? After a series of quizzes, researchers found that people opt for their own safety and their fellow passengers. There are plenty of open questions in the area of robotic morality. For instance, if different versions of the moral algorithm are made available to the user, is the buyer or the manufacturer to blame for deadly damages? Should we teach ethics to the A.I. machines? Learn more here.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE PRODUCES REALISTIC SOUNDS THAT FOOL HUMANS
June 17, 2016 — Sounds are a rich source of information to make assumptions about a certain environment. Researchers from MIT’s CSAIL lab developed an algorithm that can produce realistic sounds that can fool humans and could be entitled as the “Turing Test for sound”. The method opens the possibility to synthesize sounds for movie effects, as well as to teach robots about objects properties to improve their interaction with the world. The technique is based on deep learning. The algorithm was trained with approx. 46,000 sounds extracted from videos. Then, the algorithm predicted the sound of a new video by matching sound properties with a sound database. Finally, it produced a coherent sound for each video frame. The researchers used a novel approach for training the algorithm by mixing sound and sight to mimic the way humans learn. Learn more here.
THE WEB'S CREATOR LOOKS TO REINVENT IT
June 10, 2016 — The World Wide Web was designed to easily find information between scientists. Twenty seven years later, it has become a complex system that is often subject to control from governments and corporations. This week, the Internet Archive hosted the Decentralised Web Summit to discuss the future of the web. The event gathered the inventor of the original web Tim Berners-Lee, Vinton Cerf, who is considered one of the fathers of Internet and other top scientists, activists and journalists. Attendees discussed the current state of technologies and future collaborations to create, manage and named a fully decentralized web. The range of topics that were covered during the two-days gathering went from self-archiving web pages, reader privacy, payments based on digital currencies, and all kind of auspicious technologies to enable the new phase for the web. Read more here.
COULD OPTICAL CLOCKS REDEFINE THE LENGTH OF A SECOND?
May 30, 2016 — An important step for improving the global timekeeping infrastructure has been done. Nowadays, 500 atomic clocks distributed globally provide precise time to communication systems, GPS-based navigation, electrical grids and financial networks. To measure the length of a second, clocks count a periodic event such as the movement of a pendulum. Atomic microwave clocks measure the natural oscillation of the cesium atom with an error of about 1 nanosecond over a month. Optimal clocks are one hundred times better than atomic clocks but its complexity cause significant downtimes. Dr. Grebing and his colleagues from the National Metrology Institute of Germany are making optical clocks practical. Their method would have lost 100 seconds if it had started at the dawn of the universe. The length of a second is expected to be formally redefined in about 10 years. Find out more!
MILESTONE IN SOLAR CELL EFFICIENCY BY unsw ENGINEERS
May 24, 2016 — Australian scientists, Dr. Keevers and Prof. Green, have developed a solar cell array that is 44 percent more efficient than the last world efficiency record. The test achieves a sunlight-to-electricity efficiency factor of 34.5 percent. Recently, a German study forecasted 35 percent efficiency by 2050. To reach this record, the scientists used a 28 cm2 mini-device based on spectrum splitting multi-junction cell. A marginal loss is expected in larger 800 cm2 cells due to interconnections. However, Dr. Keevers thinks that scale-up manufacturing is feasible. The cost of the technology is still to expensive for home units but UNSW team is working on reducing the price. The new sunlight-to-electricity efficiency factor gets closer to the theoretical limits of solar power considered to be 53 percent. Read more: here
LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE BRAIN
April 1, 2016 — Pawan Sinha, a professor of computational neuroscience and vision, works with children who were born blind but who have gained sight later on. His intention is to understand better the brain's ability of visually understanding the world. He has discovered how the brain considers mainly the coarse information, discarding the details and he used this discovery to build vision systems that could easily work in real-time and that could learn by watching a few minutes of video recordings rather than considering big image databases. According to professor Sihna, "a key element in the learning equation is dynamic information. The brain can and does learn from static images, but movement speeds up and simplifies the otherwise complex process". Read more here!
QUANTUM COMPUTING GETS A PERFORMANCE BOOST, COULD BREAK RSA
March 28, 2016 — A new solution for the scalability problem of quantum computers, found by researchers from MIT and from University of Innsbruck. The researchers have shown how a new architecture gets much better efficiency than traditional approaches, making, thus, the Schor algorithm, "the most complex quantum algorithm known to date", scalable. This could cause problems to encryption methods like RSA, as it was proven that this solution could factor a number using less qubits. Find out more!
THE SADNESS AND BEAUTY OF WATCHING GOOGLE’S AI PLAY GO | WIRED
March 14, 2016 — Wired magazine interviews Fan Hui, three-time European Go champion and the first top player to challenge AlphaGo. Hui discusses the beauty of the AlphaGo beyond the role of a contestant, as teaching and training top players become better players. Read more about it here.
ACM WEBINAR "FROM BI TO BIG DATA—ARCHITECTURE, ETHICS, AND ECONOMICS"
March 3, 2016 — Register for the next free ACM Learning Webinar, "From BI to Big Data—Architecture, Ethics, and Economics," presented on Wednesday, March 16 at 12 pm ET by Barry Devlin, Founder and Principal of 9sight Consulting, a founder of the data warehousing industry, and a foremost authority on business intelligence. Peter Aiken, founder of Data Blueprint and Associate Professor of Information Systems at Virginia Commonwealth University, moderates the questions and answers session.
AUTOMATIC PROGRAMMING MAKES SWARM ROBOTS SAFER AND MORE RELIABLE
February 27, 2016 — Sheffield Robotics have developed a new method for programming and controlling a swarm of robots in order to make them act in concert. The new technique was tested on up to 600 robots and it brings improvements by reducing the number of bugs usually occurring because of the human error. The robots communicate through a form of linguistics similar with the natural language, by constructing words based on a given alphabet. The resulting words are verified and used for the selection of those actions that correspond to valid words. As perspectives, the Sheffield researchers want to establish a way for the robots to interact with the robots so that both the humans and the robots can learn from each other. Find out more here!
FACEBOOK’S NEW MAP OF WORLD POPULATION COULD HELP GET BILLIONS ONLINE
February 26, 2016 — Facebook is developing new maps to describe the population density in poor countries with an unprecedented accuracy. The effort will help develop a solar drones and ground-based infrastructure for connecting the rest of around 4 billion people to the Internet and for offering Internet connectivity to areas where it is not available nowadays. Read more!
February 16, 2016 — "The Painting Fool" is a computer program that does art created by Simon Colton, a professor of computational creativity at Goldsmiths College, London. It is responsive to mood and emotions from image and news contents. A simmilar effort was done by Google's Project Inception in which they use neural networks to superimpose images of animal faces onto landscape. As machine-generated art becomes more prevalent, art critics and technologists calls into question whether machine-art legitimately qualifies as an art. Read more about it here.
THE CHIPS ARE DOWN FOR MOORE’S LAW
February 15, 2016 — In the month of March, the semiconductor industry will formally acknolwedge that the trend of Moore's law no longer holds. Moore's law is the prediction made by Intel's Gordon E. Moore in 1965 that semiconductor components on computer chips will double every two years and it has been a "law" that held true for over four decades. Read more about it here.
GOOGLE’S AI MASTERS THE GAME OF GO A DECADE EARLIER THAN EXPECTED
February 9, 2016 — Google's DeepMind research team have just built a deep learning system that is capable of mastering the game of Go. Go is an ancient Chinese game and is marked by its tremendous complexity because it requires that the players to recognize subtle patterns on the gameboard. Google's researchers explain that Go is a much more challenging game for computers because there are more possible combinations of moves that the players need to consider. Read more about this here.
WEEKLY ADDRESS: GIVING EVERY STUDENT AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN THROUGH COMPUTER SCIENCE FOR ALL
February 8, 2016 — President Obama speaks in a weekly address regarding the importance of Computer Science education as a basic skill in the new information economy. He announced the new initiaive "Computer Science For All" which provides funding for training computer science teachers. Read more about this here.
AI BENCHMARK WILL ASK COMPUTERS TO MAKE SENSE OF THE WORLD
January 29, 2016 — A new image database called the Visual Genome developed by researchers at Stanford's Artificial Intelligence Lab is aimed for tackling computer vision problems. The database contains detailed labels of the names and details of various objects shown in an image as well as their relationship with the other objects in the image. This article surveys many of simmilar image databases that are simmilar in purpose to the Visual Genome Project. Read more about them here.
ACM LEARNING WEBINAR: COMPUTATIONAL THINKING
January 28, 2016 — The next ACM Learning Webinar, "Computational Thinking", will be presented live on Wednesday, February 3, at 12 pm ET by Grady Booch, ACM Fellow and Chief Scientist for Software Engineering at IBM Research. In this presentation, Booch will examine the nature of the shift from development of software-intensive systems by a relative few professionally trained computer scientists and engineers to a much larger community of amateur and incidental developers, people who must build computational systems as part of their primary focus, and consider the consequences not only for our profession but for the world that increasingly relies on such systems. The talk will pay particular attention to the importance of computational thinking for the masses, and how we as professionals have a responsibility to shape the conversation. Will Tracz, Lockheed Martin Fellow Emeritus and Past Chair of ACM SIGSOFT, moderates. Find out more and register for this webinar or view the entire archive of past ACM Learning Webinars.
OPEN-SOURCE GPU COULD PUSH COMPUTING POWER TO THE NEXT LEVEL
January 22, 2016 — "Nyami: A Synthesizable GPU Architectural Model for General-Purpose and Graphics-Specific Workloads" is the title of a paper published by researchers at Binghamton University together with co-author Jeff Bush from Roku, who led the paper. This paper describes how open-source GPUs may help researchers understand how changes affect mainstream chips. Being the first research of its kind, it has used a series of experiments in order to find out how the performance of a circuit is affected by different configurations, either hardware or software. After all, the simulators use to "take shortcuts", as Timothy Miller, one of the authors, says while it isn't the case when dealing with real processors. Read the whole story!
A NEW STUDY SUGGESTS THAT THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION COULD DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD
January 21, 2016 — A new study highlights the negative aspects of the digital world which, according to the experts from World Bank who led the research, could cause more harm than good. The positive aspects, which are called "digital dividends", regard advantages such as an increased access to education and the economic growth. Nevertheless, because of the uneven distribution, poorer individuals or nations will be surpassed by the others and this could lead to significant social inequalities. Moreover, the replacement of the workforce by AI and robotics in developed countries will fundamentally change many jobs or it will even eradicate some of them. Find out more about this study here!
YAHOO NEWS FEED: LARGEST MACHINE LEARNING DATASET RELEASED
January 20, 2016 — Yahoo has recently released a 1.5 terabyte dataset of anonymized user-news item interaction data, collected by recording the user-news item interactions of about 20M users from February to May 2015. One of the goals for the data release is to enable academic researchers in the area of machine learning, information retreival and recommendation system to work on such a large real-world datasets obtained from industry. Read more about it here.
CHINA’S BAIDU RELEASES ITS AI CODE
January 19, 2016 — Simmilar to Google's TensorFlow (released last November), China's Baidu research recently released Warp-CTC software open source. Warp-CTC implemented a deep-learning algorithm designed for computer chips. Find out more!
WHEN DRONES FILL CITY SKIES, THEY COULD USE THIS SYSTEM TO AVOID CRASHING
January 12, 2016 — A good solution to the problem of drone traffic management and collision avoidance seems to be to make them interact rather than considering their own surroundings and asking solutions from a central system. Prof. Mykel Kochenderfer the director of the Stanford Intelligent Systems Laboratory, together with co-author Hao Yi Ong, published recently a paper showing interesting results of pairing the closest drones and making them consider only each other's behavior. Their system proved to be very fast and possibly a good candidate for such a system that will soon be a must, considering the increasing number of drones. Read more about their solution here!
WHY KNOWLEDGE REPRESENTATION MATTERS
January 11, 2016 — Learn how statistical algorithms and machine learning, broadly used and very popular nowadays, will not provide a solution to everything, from an AI point of view, and knowledge representation and logic-based AI are still to be desired, as they come with a better AI experience and as they have the ability to offer more insight into the problems studied, in this interesting article published in the Communications of the ACM by Prof. Yoav Shoham.
UW BRAIN IMPLANT COULD HELP PARALYZED LIMBS MOVE AGAIN
January 8, 2016 — University of Washington researchers are developing an implantable device for paralysis patients to move their limbs using their brain signals. The group have already developed prototypes that can interpret brain waves and communicate with the nervous systems. Read more about it here.
HOW TO 3-D PRINT LIGHTWEIGHT, ULTRASTRONG PARTS RESISTANT TO HEAT AND DEGRADATION
January 6, 2016 — Researchers at HRL Laboratories have developed a new type of resin called preceramic polymers that enable 3D-printing of ceramic parts. Ceramics's impressive thermal material properties and the precise digital fabrication and fast-protoyping method that 3D-printing enables has, among others, applications to the military and aerospace industry. Read more about it here.
HOW THE INTERNET OF THINGS GOT HACKED
January 5, 2016 — As more and more physical objects gets connected as part of the Internet of Things, there are more devices vulnerable to cyberattacks. This article shows some examples of these cyberphysical hacks from cars to medical devices. Read more about it here.
CHIP COMBINING OPTICS AND ELECTRONICS COULD MEAN FASTER, MORE ENERGY-EFFICIENT COMPUTING
January 4, 2016 — A group of researchers from MIT, UCBerkeley and University of Colorado, Boulder proposed a prototype for electronic-optical microprocessor. Prior to this study, there has been challenges in integrating both photonic and electronic elemnts onto the same chip. Optical communication can enhance computing performance by allowing faster data transfer by overcoming the traditional power density and speed limits imposed on electrical devices. in their Nature paper titled "Single-chip microprocessor that communicates directly using light", published last week. Read more about it here.
2016: NEW FRONTIERS IN INNOVATION
January 1, 2016 — We wish you a happy and fruitful new year and we hope that 2016 will be an excellent year for Computer Science and for all those who love this domain!
We witnessed many innovations in 2015 and we're also expecting many of them to happen in 2016 as well. Among the most expected ones, there are improvements regarding the IoT and technologies and standards allowing its wide adoption, autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles: more ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) and compliance with higher ASIL standards, connected homes, or the OTT (over the top) content. Read more about them in this IEEE Computing Now story!
U.S. EXPECTS DROP IN PROGRAMMING JOBS, BUT GAINS IN IT JOBS OVERALL
January 1, 2016 — As a significant percent of work is "shifted to lower wage countries", the US BLS says that the number of programmers is expected to decline by 8 percent during the next decade. Nevertheless, the number of IT jobs is expected to grow with 12 percent during the same time interval, among which software developers will see a 17 percent increase. Find out more about these facts and some other useful information regarding the US IT work force, as they were published in the BLS biennial "Occupational Outlook Handbook", in this ComputerWorld story!