• Google Struck a Deal to Secretly Access Health Data on Millions of Americans

    Google Struck a Deal to Secretly Access Health Data on Millions of Americans
    America’s data privacy laws aren’t bad so much as they’re nonexistent. There’s no general federal data privacy law at all, and only a few states have attempted to pass meaningful legislation on the topic. While laws like HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) do have something to say about who is allowed to access patient medical records without the patient’s consent, it’s clear now that even this law is woefully inadequate to the privacy
  • Learning about artificial intelligence: A hub of MIT resources for K-12 students

    Learning about artificial intelligence: A hub of MIT resources for K-12 students
    In light of the recent events surrounding Covid-19, learning for grades K-12 looks very different than it did a month ago. Parents and educators may be feeling overwhelmed about turning their homes into classrooms. With that in mind, a team led by Media Lab Associate Professor Cynthia Breazeal has launched aieducation.mit.edu to share a variety of online activities for K-12 students to learn about artificial intelligence, with a focus on how to design and use it responsibly. Learning r
  • Computational thinking class enables students to engage in Covid-19 response

    Computational thinking class enables students to engage in Covid-19 response
    When an introductory computational science class, which is open to the general public, was repurposed to study the Covid-19 pandemic this spring, the instructors saw student registration rise from 20 students to nearly 300.Introduction to Computational Thinking (6.S083/18.S190), which applies data science, artificial intelligence, and mathematical models using the Julia programming language developed at MIT, was introduced in the fall as a pilot half-semester class. It was launched as part of th
  • Researching from home: Science stays social, even at a distance

    Researching from home: Science stays social, even at a distance
    With all but a skeleton crew staying home from each lab to minimize the spread of Covid-19, scores of Picower Institute researchers are immersing themselves in the considerable amount of scientific work that can done away from the bench. With piles of data to analyze; plenty of manuscripts to write; new skills to acquire; and fresh ideas to conceive, share, and refine for the future, neuroscientists have full plates, even when they are away from their, well, plates. They are proving that science
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  • UC Berkeley's AI-Powered Robot Teaches Itself to Drive Off-Road

    This article was originally published on UC Berkeley’s BAIR Blog.Look at the images above. If I asked you to bring me a picnic blanket to the grassy field, would you be able to? Of course. If I asked you to bring over a cart full of food for a party, would you push the cart along the paved path or on the grass? Obviously the paved path.While the answers to these questions may seem obvious, today’s mobile robots would likely fail at these tasks: They would think the tall gra
  • 'Magic toilet' could monitor users' health, say researchers

    System of sensors and cameras would turn loo into ‘daily clinic’ and detect problems earlyA smart toilet boasting pressure sensors, artificial intelligence and a camera has been unveiled by researchers who say it could provide a valuable way to keep tabs on our health.The model is the latest version of an idea that has been around for several years: a system that examines our daily movements in an effort to spot the emergence of diseases. Such an approach, experts say, has an advanta
  • Accelerating data-driven discoveries

    Accelerating data-driven discoveries
    As technologies like single-cell genomic sequencing, enhanced biomedical imaging, and medical “internet of things” devices proliferate, key discoveries about human health are increasingly found within vast troves of complex life science and health data.But drawing meaningful conclusions from that data is a difficult problem that can involve piecing together different data types and manipulating huge data sets in response to varying scientific inquiries. The problem is as much about c
  • Video Friday: This Omnidirectional Drone Flies Using 12 Tiltable Propellers

    Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here’s what we have so far (send us your events!):HRI 2020 – April 06, 2020 – [Online Conference]ICARSC 2020 – April 15-17, 2020 – [Online Conference]ICRA 2020 – May 31-4, 2020 – [Online or Postponed]ICUAS 2020 – J
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  • Zipline Wants to Bring Medical Drone Delivery to U.S. to Fight COVID-19

    A year ago, we visited Rwanda to see how Zipline’s autonomous, fixed-wing delivery drones were providing blood to hospitals and clinics across the country. We were impressed with both Zipline’s system design (involving dramatic catapult launches, parachute drops, and mid-air drone catching), as well as their model of operations, which minimizes waste while making critical supplies available in minutes almost anywhere in the country.Since then, Zipline has expanded into Ghana, and has
  • Q&A: Markus Buehler on setting coronavirus and AI-inspired proteins to music

    Q&A: Markus Buehler on setting coronavirus and AI-inspired proteins to music
    The proteins that make up all living things are alive with music. Just ask Markus Buehler: The musician and MIT professor develops artificial intelligence models to design new proteins, sometimes by translating them into sound. His goal is to create new biological materials for sustainable, non-toxic applications. In a project with the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab, Buehler is searching for a protein to extend the shelf-life of perishable food. In a new study in Extreme Mechanics Letters,
  • Google's Art App Now Turns Your Selfies Into Famous Masterpieces

    Google's Art App Now Turns Your Selfies Into Famous Masterpieces
    In what promises to be an excellent way to kill a solid 10 minutes, the Google Arts & Culture app has been updated with a new Art Transfer feature that will apply the look of countless famous paintings and artists to your own photos using machine learning techniques.Read more...
  • 'The problem of gendered language is universal' – how AI reveals media bias

    'The problem of gendered language is universal' – how AI reveals media bias
    New technology is helping expose the depth and breadth of biased language at a processing rate previously impossible for humans If, during an election campaign, you heard one candidate described as “brave” and another candidate described as “strong”, which of the two would you be more likely to vote for? If the answer to this question seems obvious to you, that’s because logically it is. But it also demonstrates the power of language to shape our thinking and influe
  • AI as mediator: 'Smart' replies help humans communicate during pandemic

    Daily life during a pandemic means social distancing and finding new ways to remotely connect with friends, family and co-workers. And as we communicate online and by text, artificial intelligence could play a role in keeping our conversations on track, according to new research.
  • How Diligent's Robots Are Making a Difference in Texas Hospitals

    For the last several years, Diligent Robotics has been testing out its robot, Moxi, in hospitals in Texas. Diligent isn’t the only company working on hospital robots, but Moxi is unique in that it’s doing commercial mobile manipulation, picking supplies out of supply closets and delivering them to patient rooms, all completely autonomously.A few weeks ago, Diligent announced US $10 million in new funding, which comes at a critical time, as the company addressed in their press re
  • New blood test can detect 50 types of cancer

    New blood test can detect 50 types of cancer
    System uses machine learning to offer new way to screen for hard-to-detect cancersA new blood test that can detect more than 50 types of cancer has been revealed by researchers in the latest study to offer hope for early detection.The test is based on DNA that is shed by tumours and found circulating in the blood. More specifically, it focuses on chemical changes to this DNA, known as methylation patterns. Continue reading...
  • Westworld's Episode 4 Teaser Poses a Question About Free Will

    Westworld's Episode 4 Teaser Poses a Question About Free Will
    Now that Westworld Hosts like Dolores and Maeve are out and about in the “real” world, they’re in a unique position to tear asunder the human ruling class’ assumptions about the nature of their shared reality. It’s easy enough for a human to dismiss a Host as a mindless automaton whose thoughts and feelings are all…Read more...
  • Scientists develop AI that can turn brain activity into text

    Scientists develop AI that can turn brain activity into text
    Researchers in US tracked the neural data from people while they were speaking
    Reading someone’s mind has just come a step closer to reality: scientists have developed artificial intelligence that can turn brain activity into text.While the system currently works on neural patterns detected while someone is speaking aloud, experts say the system could eventually aid communication for patients who are unable to speak or type, such as those with locked in syndrome. Continue reading...
  • New MI5 head promises to focus on China and harness AI

    Promotion of Glaswegian career officer Ken McCallum announced by Priti Patel MI5’s deputy will take the top job at the spy agency next month promising a sharper focus on China and to work more closely with the private sector in harnessing artificial intelligence in tackling hostile state and terrorist activity.Ken McCallum, a career MI5 officer, has been the agency’s deputy director general since April 2017 and was seen by insiders as the heir apparent at an organisation that prides
  • Bosses speed up automation as virus keeps workers home

    Bosses speed up automation as virus keeps workers home
    Livelihoods at risk as EY finds 41% of employers globally prepare for after the crisis
    Almost half of company bosses in 45 countries are speeding up plans to automate their businesses as workers are forced to stay at home during the coronavirus outbreak.Some 41% of respondents in a survey by the auditing firm EY said they were investing in accelerating automation as businesses prepared for a post-crisis world.Once the situation stabilises, executives will have to make faster moves to reimagine,
  • Video Friday: Qoobo the Headless Robot Cat Is Back

    Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here’s what we have so far (send us your events!):ICARSC 2020 – April 15-17, 2020 – [Online Conference]ICRA 2020 – May 31-4, 2020 – [TBD]ICUAS 2020 – June 9-12, 2020 – Athens, GreeceRSS 2020 – July 12-16, 2020 &nda
  • AI Trained on Moon Craters Is Helping Find Unexploded Bombs From the Vietnam War

    AI Trained on Moon Craters Is Helping Find Unexploded Bombs From the Vietnam War
    There’s still no completely safe and surefire method for locating unexploded ordinance after a war is over, but researchers at Ohio State University have found a way to harness image processing algorithms, powered by machine learning, to study satellite imagery and locate hot spots where UXO are likely to be located.Read more...
  • Neural networks facilitate optimization in the search for new materials

    Neural networks facilitate optimization in the search for new materials
    When searching through theoretical lists of possible new materials for particular applications, such as batteries or other energy-related devices, there are often millions of potential materials that could be considered, and multiple criteria that need to be met and optimized at once. Now, researchers at MIT have found a way to dramatically streamline the discovery process, using a machine learning system.As a demonstration, the team arrived at a set of the eight most promising materials, out of
  • How robots can help combat COVID-19

    Can robots be effective tools in combating the COVID-19 pandemic? A group of leaders in the field of robotics say yes, and outline a number of examples. They say robots can be used for clinical care such as telemedicine and decontamination; logistics such as delivery and handling of contaminated waste; and reconnaissance such as monitoring compliance with voluntary quarantines.
  • AI program could check blood for signs of lung cancer

    AI program could check blood for signs of lung cancer
    Scientists hope that if software passes trials it could boost screening ratesScientists have developed an artificial intelligence program that can screen people for lung cancer by analysing their blood for DNA mutations that drive the disease.The software is experimental and needs to be verified in a clinical trial, but doctors are hopeful that if it proves its worth at scale, it will boost lung cancer screening rates by making the procedure as simple as a routine blood test. Continue reading...
  • 11 of the Coolest Builds By Bored People With a Lot of Lego Bricks

    11 of the Coolest Builds By Bored People With a Lot of Lego Bricks
    There are a lot of reasons why Lego remains one of the world’s most popular toys, over 3,700, in fact: the number of unique Lego pieces that have been created over the decades. It allows everything from Batmobiles, to excavators, to Kessel running space ships to be built from plastic bricks, butLego can be used to…Read more...
  • Elections: Early warning system to fight disinformation online

    A new project is an effort to combat the rise of coordinated social media campaigns to incite violence, sew discord and threaten the integrity of democratic elections.
  • Google Invents AI That Learns a Key Part of Chip Design

    There’s been a lot of intense and well-funded work developing chips that are specially designed to perform AI algorithms faster and more efficiently. The trouble is that it takes years to design a chip, and the universe of machine learning algorithms moves a lot faster than that. Ideally you want a chip that’s optimized to do today’s AI, not the AI of two to five years ago. Google’s solution: have an AI design the AI chip.“We believe that it is AI itself that will p
  • System trains driverless cars in simulation before they hit the road

    System trains driverless cars in simulation before they hit the road
    A simulation system invented at MIT to train driverless cars creates a photorealistic world with infinite steering possibilities, helping the cars learn to navigate a host of worse-case scenarios before cruising down real streets.  Control systems, or “controllers,” for autonomous vehicles largely rely on real-world datasets of driving trajectories from human drivers. From these data, they learn how to emulate safe steering controls in a variety of situations. But real-world dat
  • Video Friday: Robots Help Keep Medical Staff Safe at COVID-19 Hospital

    Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here’s what we have so far (send us your events!):HRI 2020 – March 23-26, 2020 – [ONLINE EVENT]ICARSC 2020 – April 15-17, 2020 – [ONLINE EVENT]ICRA 2020 – May 31-4, 2020 – [SEE ATTENDANCE SURVEY]ICUAS 2020 – June 9
  • Coronavirus Pandemic: A Call to Action for the Robotics Community

    When I reached Professor Guang-Zhong Yang on the phone last week, he was cooped up in a hotel room in Shanghai, where he had self-isolated after returning from a trip abroad. I wanted to hear from Yang, a widely respected figure in the robotics community, about the role that robots are playing in fighting the coronavirus pandemic. He’d been monitoring the situation from his room over the previous week, and during that time his only visitors were a hotel employee, who took his tem