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Archive for the ‘information science’ category

Jan 11, 2018

This is what a 50-qubit quantum computer looks like

Posted by in categories: computing, information science, quantum physics

From afar, it looks like a steampunk chandelier. An intricate collection of tubes and wires that culminate in a small steel cylinder at the bottom. It is, in fact, one of the most sophisticated quantum computers ever built. The processor inside has 50 quantum bits, or qubits, that process tasks in a (potentially) revolutionary way. Normally, information is created and stored as a series of ones and zeroes. Qubits can represent both values at the same time (known as superposition), which means a quantum computer can theoretically test the two simultaneously. Add more qubits and this hard-to-believe computational power increases.

Last November, IBM unveiled the world’s first 50-qubit quantum computer. It lives in a laboratory, inside a giant white case, with pumps to keep it cool and some traditional computers to manage the tasks or algorithms being initiated. At CES this year, the company brought the innards — the wires and tubes required to send signals to the chip and keep the system cool — so reporters and attendees could better understand how it works. The biggest challenge, IBM Research Vice President Jeffrey Welser told me, is isolating the chip from unwanted “noise.” This includes electrical, magnetic and thermal noise — just the temperature of the room renders the whole machine useless.

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Jan 9, 2018

Samsung introduces autonomous driving platform called DRVLINE

Posted by in categories: information science, robotics/AI, transportation

Today at CES, Samsung unveiled DRVLINE, a hardware and software platform that will allow car makers to create customized, technologically advanced autonomous vehicles. Many platforms are an all-or-nothing solution, which forces users to adopt the entire package en masse, without any sort of customization. DRVLINE, however, allows vendors to swap and customize individual components, building the vehicle to their specifications, as well as allowing for rapidly evolving technology.

“Building an autonomous platform requires close collaboration across industry, as one company cannot deliver on this enormous opportunity alone,” said Young Sohn, the president and chief strategy officer of Samsung. “The challenge is simply too big and too complex. Through the DRVLINE platform, we’re inviting the best and brightest from the automotive industry to join us, and help shape the future of the car of tomorrow, today.”

The first DRVLINE initiative will be a camera that features lane departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, collision warning and algorithms that can deliver warnings about pedestrians. The system will start shipping this year.

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Jan 7, 2018

Pentagon Seeks Laser-Powered Bat Drones. Really

Posted by in categories: drones, information science, military, robotics/AI

Wirelessly powered, biomimetic spybots…


A new contest seeks flight systems inspired by Mother Nature and powered by directed-energy beams.

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Jan 6, 2018

Leave A.I. Alone

Posted by in categories: information science, law, robotics/AI

December was a big month for advocates of regulating artificial intelligence. First, a bipartisan group of senators and representatives introduced the Future of A.I. Act, the first federal bill solely focused on A.It would create an advisory committee to make recommendations about A.I. — on topics including the technology’s effect on the American work force and strategies to protect the privacy rights of those it impacts. Then the New York City Council approved a first-of-its-kind bill that once signed into law will create a task force to examine its own use of automated decision systems, with the ultimate goal of making its use of algorithms fairer and more transparent.


Sure, the technology poses risks. But the current approach to regulating it is a mistake.

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Dec 28, 2017

China’s latest plans to dominate robot, smart car and railway industries by 2020

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, food, information science, internet, robotics/AI

China has unveiled three-year plans to increase the country’s economic competitiveness by developing “key technologies” in nine industrial sectors, from robotics to railways.


Other areas include smart cars, robotics, advanced shipbuilding and maritime equipment, modern agricultural machinery, advanced medical devices and drugs, new materials, smart manufacturing and machine tools.

The aim is “to make China a powerful manufacturing country” and upgrade the nation’s industrial power through “the internet, big data and artificial intelligence”, the commission said.

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Dec 26, 2017

The Pentagon’s New Artificial Intelligence Is Already Hunting Terrorists

Posted by in categories: drones, information science, military, robotics/AI, terrorism

After less than eight months of development, the algorithms are helping intel analysts exploit drone video over the battlefield.

Earlier this month at an undisclosed location in the Middle East, computers using special algorithms helped intelligence analysts identify objects in a video feed from a small ScanEagle drone over the battlefield.

A few days into the trials, the computer identified objects — people, cars, types of building — correctly about 60 percent of the time. Just over a week on the job — and a handful of on-the-fly software updates later — the machine’s accuracy improved to around 80 percent. Next month, when its creators send the technology back to war with more software and hardware updates, they believe it will become even more accurate.

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Dec 22, 2017

New lensless camera creates detailed 3D images without scanning

Posted by in categories: information science, robotics/AI

Researchers have developed an easy-to-build camera that produces 3D images from a single 2D image without any lenses. In an initial application of the technology, the researchers plan to use the new camera, which they call DiffuserCam, to watch microscopic neuron activity in living mice without a microscope. Ultimately, it could prove useful for a wide range of applications involving 3D capture.

The camera is compact and inexpensive to construct because it consists of only a diffuser — essentially a bumpy piece of plastic — placed on top of an image sensor. Although the hardware is simple, the software it uses to reconstruct high resolution 3D is very complex.

“The DiffuserCam can, in a single shot, capture 3D information in a large volume with high resolution,” said the research team leader Laura Waller, University of California, Berkeley. “We think the camera could be useful for self-driving cars, where the 3D information can offer a sense of scale, or it could be used with machine learning algorithms to perform face detection, track people or automatically classify objects.”

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Dec 16, 2017

Brendan Frey — Genome Reprogramming

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, health, information science, robotics/AI

Brendan John Frey FRSC (born 29 August 1968) is a Canadian-born machine learning and genome biology researcher, known mainly for his work on factor graphs, the wake-sleep algorithm for deep learning, and using machine learning to model genome biology and understand genetic disorders. He founded Deep Genomics and is currently its CEO, and he is a Professor of Engineering and Medicine at the University of Toronto. He co-developed a new computational approach to identifying the genetic determinants of disease, was one of the first researchers to successfully train a deep neural network, and was a pioneer in the introduction of iterative message-passing algorithms.

Frey studied computer engineering and physics at the University of Calgary (BSc 1990) and the University of Manitoba (MSc 1993), and then studied neural networks and graphical models as a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Geoffrey Hinton (PhD 1997). He was an invited participant of the Machine Learning program at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge, UK (1997) and was a Beckman Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (1999).

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Dec 13, 2017

India’s grasp on IT jobs is loosening up. Is artificial intelligence to blame?

Posted by in categories: business, employment, engineering, information science, robotics/AI

When Kumar lost his job, he became part of a wave of layoffs washing through the Indian IT industry—a term that includes, in its vastness, call centers, engineering services, business process outsourcing firms, and infrastructure management and software companies. The recent layoffs are part of the industry’s most significant period of churn since it began to boom two decades ago. Companies don’t necessarily attribute these layoffs directly to automation, but at the same time, they constantly identify automation as the spark for huge changes in the industry. Bots, machine learning, and algorithms that robotically execute processes are rendering old skills redundant, recasting the idea of work and making a smaller labor force seem likely.


Technology outsourcing has been India’s only reliable job creator in the past 30 years. Now artificial intelligence threatens to wipe out those gains.

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Dec 12, 2017

Human-AI merger: The pinnacle or demise of mankind? (DEBATE)

Posted by in categories: information science, robotics/AI

With machine learning algorithms evolving at an incredibly fast pace, concerns are mounting whether artificial intelligence (AI) is the logical continuation of human history or its demise. RT talked to three experts in the field about the benefits and dangers of AI.


Three AI experts engaged in a debate on RT about the benefits and dangers of rapidly-developing technology and AI.

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