• James DiCarlo named director of the MIT Quest for Intelligence

    James DiCarlo named director of the MIT Quest for Intelligence
    James DiCarlo, the Peter de Florez Professor of Neuroscience, has been appointed to the role of director of the MIT Quest for Intelligence. MIT Quest was launched in 2018 to discover the basis of natural intelligence, create new foundations for machine intelligence, and deliver new tools and technologies for humanity.As director, DiCarlo will forge new collaborations with researchers within MIT and beyond to accelerate progress in understanding intelligence and developing the next generatio
  • One, two, tree: how AI helped find millions of trees in the Sahara

    One, two, tree: how AI helped find millions of trees in the Sahara
    Efforts to map the Earth’s trees are growing – and could change our understanding of the planet’s healthWhen a team of international scientists set out to count every tree in a large swathe of west Africa using AI, satellite images and one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, their expectations were modest. Previously, the area had registered as having little or no tree cover.The biggest surprise, says Martin Brandt, assistant professor of geography at the Univers
  • Model analyzes how viruses escape the immune system

    Model analyzes how viruses escape the immune system
    One reason it’s so difficult to produce effective vaccines against some viruses, including influenza and HIV, is that these viruses mutate very rapidly. This allows them to evade the antibodies generated by a particular vaccine, through a process known as “viral escape.”MIT researchers have now devised a new way to computationally model viral escape, based on models that were originally developed to analyze language. The model can predict which sections of viral surface protein
  • System Creates the Illusion of an Ideal AI Chip

    What does an ideal neural network chip look like? The most important part is to have oodles of memory on the chip itself, say engineers. That’s because data transfer (from main memory to the processor chip) generally uses the most energy and produces most of the system lag—even compared to the AI computation itself. Cerebras Systems solved these problems, collectively called the memory wall, by making a computer consisting almost entirely of a single, large chip containing 18 gi
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  • Archive review – anyone for a posthuman wife? She comes with an off switch

    Archive review – anyone for a posthuman wife? She comes with an off switch
    A lonely computer scientist in the year 2038 secretly works on an android version of his wife who died in a car crash – is it romantic, or something more sinister?British illustrator and visual-effects director Gavin Rothery makes his feature debut with this artificial intelligence thriller: a tale of love, death and robotics that has some nicely creepy moments. Set in 2038, it centres on lonely computer scientist George Almore (Divergent’s Theo James), who is holed up in a remote re
  • South Korean AI chatbot pulled from Facebook after hate speech towards minorities

    South Korean AI chatbot pulled from Facebook after hate speech towards minorities
    Lee Luda, built to emulate a 20-year-old Korean university student, engaged in homophobic slurs on social mediaA popular South Korean chatbot has been suspended after complaints that it used hate speech towards sexual minorities in conversations with its users.Lee Luda, the artificial intelligence [AI] persona of a 20-year-old female university student, was removed from Facebook messenger this week, after attracting more than 750,000 users in the 20 days since it was launched. Related: AI and K-
  • A New Stanford Study Uses Facial Recognition to Figure Out If You're Liberal or Conservative

    A New Stanford Study Uses Facial Recognition to Figure Out If You're Liberal or Conservative
    Today in terrible ideas: an AI system that claims to be able to accurately predict your political affiliation using...your face. Yes, really. Read more...
  • David Attenborough hologram to front tour guide phone app

    David Attenborough hologram to front tour guide phone app
    Augmented reality app lets people visit UK green spaces with ‘Attenborough in your pocket’ Sir David Attenborough is to front a new app that will allow mobile phone users to enlist the presenter as a virtual tour guide who will appear in holographic videos when they visit sights across the UK.The 94-year-old will be the centrepiece of a new augmented reality app, which will be released alongside the BBC’s next landmark natural history TV series, The Green Planet, which launches
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  • Professor Antonio Torralba elected 2021 AAAI Fellow

    Professor Antonio Torralba elected 2021 AAAI Fellow
    Antonio Torralba, faculty head of Artificial Intelligence and Decision Making within the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) and the Thomas and Gerd Perkins Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has been selected as a 2021 Fellow by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). AAAI Fellows are selected in recognition of their significant and extended contributions to the field (contributions which typically span a decade
  • Tweaking AI software to function like a human brain improves computer's learning ability

    Tweaking AI software to function like a human brain improves computer's learning ability
    Computer-based artificial intelligence can function more like human intelligence when programmed to use a much faster technique for learning new objects, say two neuroscientists who designed such a model that was designed to mirror human visual learning.
  • MIT.nano’s Immersion Lab opens for researchers and students

    MIT.nano’s Immersion Lab opens for researchers and students
    The MIT.nano Immersion Lab, MIT’s first open-access facility for augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) and interacting with data, is now open and available to MIT students, faculty, researchers, and external users.The powerful set of capabilities is located on the third floor of MIT.nano in a two-story space resembling a black-box theater. The Immersion Lab contains embedded systems and individual equipment and platforms, as well as data capacity to support new modes of teaching and applic
  • Using light to revolutionize artificial intelligence

    Using light to revolutionize artificial intelligence
    An international team of researchers, including Professor Roberto Morandotti of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), just introduced a new photonic processor that could revolutionize artificial intelligence, as reported by the prestigious journal Nature.
  • The Day I Learned What Data Science Is

    The Day I Learned What Data Science Is
    What is data science? What does a data scientist do? How do I become a data scientist? These are commonly asked questions on data science social media sites and often debated in academic circles. These can be difficult questions to answer because data science is so new and rapidly evolving. Further, the answers are heavily dependent on the backgrounds of those doing the answering. For example, a computer scientist might answer in terms of machine learning and optimization while a statistician mi
  • Computer scientists: We wouldn't be able to control super intelligent machines

    Computer scientists: We wouldn't be able to control super intelligent machines
    We are fascinated by machines that can control cars, compose symphonies, or defeat people at chess, Go, or Jeopardy! While more progress is being made all the time in Artificial Intelligence (AI), some scientists and philosophers warn of the dangers of an uncontrollable superintelligent AI. Using theoretical calculations, an international team of researchers shows that it would likely not be possible to control a superintelligent AI.
  • Robot displays a glimmer of empathy to a partner robot

    Robot displays a glimmer of empathy to a partner robot
    Like a longtime couple who can predict each other's every move, a new robot has learned to predict its partner robot's future actions and goals based on just a few initial video frames. The study is part of a broader effort to endow robots with the ability to understand and anticipate the goals of other robots, purely from visual observations.
  • How Facial Recognition Technology Is Helping Identify the U.S. Capitol Attackers

    The FBI is still trying to identify some of the hundreds of people who launched a deadly attack on the U.S. Congress last week. “We have deployed our full investigative resources and are working closely with our federal, state, and local partners to aggressively pursue those involved in criminal activity during the events of January 6,” reads a page that contains images of dozens of unknown individuals, including one suspected of planting several bombs around Washington, D.C.But
  • Art meets tech to mark first 100 years of the robot

    Art meets tech to mark first 100 years of the robot
    The Czech playwright Karel Čapek coined the expression for artificial men in 1921. Now they are far more than science fiction“Listen Josef,” said the Czech playwright Karel Čapek to his brother. “I have an idea for a play.”Josef, an artist of some renown, was painting furiously and unimpressed by his brother’s intrusion. “What kind of play?” he asked, sharply. Karel set out the plot. In the future, humans have created synthetic, humanoid creatu
  • Video Friday: These Robots Are Ready for 2021

    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 2021 – March 8-11, 2021 – [Online]RoboSoft 2021 – April 12-16, 2021 – [Online]Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today’s videos.Is it too late to say, “Happy Hol
  • World's fastest optical neuromorphic processor

    World's fastest optical neuromorphic processor
    A Swinburne-led team has demonstrated the world's fastest and most powerful optical neuromorphic processor for artificial intelligence. The neuromorphic processor operates faster than 10 trillion operations per second and is capable of processing ultra-large scale data.
  • How Boston Dynamics Taught Its Robots to Dance

    A week ago, Boston Dynamics posted a video of Atlas, Spot, and Handle dancing to “Do You Love Me.” It was, according to the video description, a way “to celebrate the start of what we hope will be a happier year.” As of today the video has been viewed nearly 24 million times, and the popularity is no surprise, considering the compelling mix of technical prowess and creativity on display.Strictly speaking, the stuff going on in the video isn’t groundbreaking, in the
  • Light-carrying chips advance machine learning

    Light-carrying chips advance machine learning
    Researchers found that so-called photonic processors, with which data is processed by means of light, can process information very much more rapidly and in parallel than electronic chips.
  • OpenAI’s ‘DALL-E’ Generates Images From Text Descriptions

    OpenAI’s ‘DALL-E’ Generates Images From Text Descriptions
    Artificial intelligence has gotten very good at some things — it’s even approaching the capability of people when it comes to recognizing objects and generating text. What about art? OpenAI has devised a new neural network called DALL-E (it’s like Dali with a nod to beloved Pixar robot WALL-E). All you need to do is give DALL-E some instructions, and it can draw an image for you. Sometimes the renderings are little better than fingerpainting, but other times they’re start
  • Robots Made of Ice Could Build and Repair Themselves on Other Planets

    No matter how much brilliant work the folks at NASA and JPL put into their planetary exploration robots (and it’s a lot of brilliant work), eventually, inevitably, they break down. It’s rare that these breakdowns are especially complicated, but since the robots aren’t designed for repair, there isn’t much that can be done. And even if (say) the Mars rovers did have the ability to swap their own wheels when they got worn out, where are you going to get new robot wheels on
  • Delivering life-saving oxygen during a pandemic

    Delivering life-saving oxygen during a pandemic
    At the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak in Italy last spring, doctors and health care professionals were faced with harrowing decisions. Hospitals were running out of ventilators, forcing doctors to choose which patients had the best chance of survival, and which didn’t.“It was a very difficult time for Italy,” recalls Daniele Vivona, a mechanical engineering graduate student from Italy. In early March, Vivona and a team of researchers at MIT’s Electrochemical Energy Lab (EE
  • A robotic revolution for urban nature

    A robotic revolution for urban nature
    Drones, robots and autonomous systems can transform the natural world in and around cities for people and wildlife.
  • This Year, Autonomous Trucks Will Take to the Road With No One on Board

    Photo: TuSimpleFirst in Freight: In 2021, San Diego–based startup TuSimple plans to deploy autonomous trucks that drive themselves from pickup to delivery without anybody on board.
    Companies like Tesla, Uber, Cruise, and Waymo promise a future where cars are essentially mobile robots that can take us anywhere with a few taps on a smartphone. But a new category of vehicles is about to overtake self-driving cars in that leap into the future. Autonomous trucks have been quietly making just a
  • Is the Turing Test Obsolete?

    Is the Turing Test Obsolete?
    Credit: Getty Images. 3D Abstract HUD brain and nervous system wireframe hologram simulation node with lighting on blue background. Nanotechnology and futuristics science concept. Medical and Healthcare. Intelligence and knowledge brain structure (Credit: Getty Images)Since its conception by the British computer scientist Alan Turing, the so-called Turing Test has served as an unofficial benchmark for artificial intelligence. The test is conceptually simple. Imagine a judge who is asked to eval
  • Spontaneous robot dances highlight a new kind of order in active matter

    Spontaneous robot dances highlight a new kind of order in active matter
    Researchers have proposed a new principle by which active matter systems can spontaneously order, without need for higher level instructions or even programmed interaction among the agents. And they have demonstrated this principle in a variety of systems, including groups of periodically shape-changing robots called 'smarticles.'
  • Can AI Lead to Pregnancy?

    Artificial intelligence in healthcare is often a story of percentages. One 2017 study predicted AI could broadly improve patient outcomes by 30 to 40 percent. Which makes a manifold improvement in results particularly noteworthy. In this case, according to one Israeli machine learning startup, AI has the potential to boost the success rate of in vitro fertilization (IVF) by as much as 3x compared to traditional methods. In other words, at least according t
  • UK chipmaker Graphcore valued at $2.8bn after it raises $222m

    UK chipmaker Graphcore valued at $2.8bn after it raises $222m
    British firm challenges rivals including Nvidia with chips used in artificial intelligenceGraphcore, the UK maker of chips designed for use in artificial intelligence, has raised $222m (£164m) from investors, valuing the company at $2.8bn.The Bristol-based company’s latest round of funding was led by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan as well as investors including Fidelity International and Schroders. Existing Graphcore investors including Baillie Gifford and Draper Esprit als