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  • Summit discusses impact of machines on jobs, productivity, and the global economy This week MIT hosted a summit on “AI and the Future of Work”, focused on helping industry, government, and the workforce navigate the opportunities and challenges of artificial intelligence and automation. Hosted by MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and...
  • Zeldovich receives ACM awardLast week it was announced that MIT professor and CSAIL principal investigator Nickolai Zeldovich received an award from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for his research contributions in operating systems. The Mark Weiser Award was created by the ACM’s Special Interest Group on...
  • Fooling neural networks w/3D-printed objectsArtificial intelligence (AI) in the form of “neural networks” are increasingly used in technologies like self-driving cars to be able to see and recognize objects. Such systems could even help with tasks like identifying explosives in airport security lines. But in many respects they're a black box...
  • Using artificial intelligence to improve early breast cancer detectionEvery year 40,000 women die from breast cancer in the U.S. alone. When cancers are found early, they can often be cured. Mammograms are the best test available, but they’re still imperfect and often result in false positive results that can lead to unnecessary biopsies and surgeries.
  • Faster big-data analysis We live in the age of big data, but most of that data is “sparse.” Imagine, for instance, a massive table that mapped all of Amazon’s customers against all of its products, with a “1” for each product a given customer bought and a “0” otherwise. The table would be mostly zeroes. With sparse...
  • Selective memory In a traditional computer, a microprocessor is mounted on a “package,” a small circuit board with a grid of electrical leads on its bottom. The package snaps into the computer’s motherboard, and data travels between the processor and the computer’s main memory bank through the leads.
  • “Open Studios” convenes CSAIL faculty, staff, and students to showcase artistic talentEarlier this month CSAIL hosted its first annual Open Studios, a day-long exhibition of art created by more than 40 faculty, staff, and students from within the lab.
  • Using artificial intelligence to improve early breast cancer detection Every year 40,000 women die from breast cancer in the U.S. alone. When cancers are found early, they can often be cured. Mammograms are the best test available, but they’re still imperfect and often result in false positive results that can lead to unnecessary biopsies and surgeries.
  • How we determine who’s to blame How do people assign a cause to events they witness? Some philosophers have suggested that people determine responsibility for a particular outcome by imagining what would have happened if a suspected cause had not intervened. This kind of reasoning, known as counterfactual simulation, is...
  • Tickets available for “AI & Future of Work” event 11/1-11/2In November CSAIL & the Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE) will be hosting MIT’s first-annual “AI and the Future of Work” summit.Focused on helping industry navigate the opportunities and challenges of artificial intelligence (AI) as it applies to employment, the November 1-2 event...
  • Regina Barzilay wins MacArthur “genius grant” Regina Barzilay, a professor in MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) who does research in natural language processing and machine learning, is a recipient of a 2017 MacArthur Fellowship, sometimes referred to as a “genius grant.”
  • Teleoperating robots with virtual reality Certain industries have traditionally not had the luxury of telecommuting. Many manufacturing jobs, for example, require a physical presence to operate machinery. But what if such jobs could be done remotely? Last week researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial...
  • An algorithm for your blind spot Light lets us see the things that surround us, but what if we could also use it to see things hidden around corners? It sounds like science fiction, but that’s the idea behind a new algorithm out of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) — and its discovery has...
  • CSAIL hosts annual meeting highlighting innovative collaboration with Qatar Computing Research InstituteThis year CSAIL celebrates five years of collaboration with the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), an esteemed research institute that’s part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Doha. This week CSAIL will be hosting the CSAIL-QCRI annual meeting, aimed at highlighting recent work and...
  • Celebrating the life of doctoral student and alumnus Michael B. Cohen Michael B. Cohen ’14, SM ’16 had a deep love for mathematics and the theoretical foundations of computing — a love that was infectious, brilliant, and always shared with others. Cohen, a doctoral student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), died suddenly...
  • Bug-repair system learns from example Anyone who’s downloaded an update to a computer program or phone app knows that most commercial software has bugs and security holes that require regular “patching.” Often, those bugs are simple oversights. For example, the program tries to read data that have already been deleted. The...
  • “Superhero” robot wears different outfits for different tasks From butterflies that sprout wings to hermit crabs that switch their shells, many animals must adapt their exterior features in order to survive. While humans don’t undergo that kind of metamorphosis, we often try to create functional objects that are similarly adaptive — including our...
  • Automatic code reuse Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have developed a new system that allows programmers to transplant code from one program into another. The programmer can select the code from one program and an insertion point in a second program, and the...
  • New leadership for MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab Antonio Torralba has been named MIT director of the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab effective immediately, announced Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of the MIT School of Engineering, today.
  • Jegelka receives DARPA Young Faculty AwardThis August it was announced that CSAIL principal investigator and MIT professor Stefanie Jegelka will receive funding for her research on geometric methods in optimization.The award is part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award (YFA), which highlights young...
  • “Peel-and-go” printable structures fold themselves As 3-D printing has become a mainstream technology, industry and academic researchers have been investigating printable structures that will fold themselves into useful three-dimensional shapes when heated or immersed in water.
  • How neural networks think Artificial-intelligence research has been transformed by machine-learning systems called neural networks, which learn how to perform tasks by analyzing huge volumes of training data. During training, a neural net continually readjusts thousands of internal parameters until it can reliably...
  • IBM and MIT to pursue joint research in artificial intelligence, establish new MIT–IBM Watson AI Lab IBM and MIT today announced that IBM plans to make a 10-year, $240 million investment to create the MIT–IBM Watson AI Lab in partnership with MIT. The lab will carry out fundamental artificial intelligence (AI) research and seek to propel scientific breakthroughs that unlock the potential...
  • IBM and MIT to pursue joint research in artificial intelligence, establish new MIT–IBM Watson AI LabIBM and MIT today announced that IBM plans to make a 10-year, $240 million investment to create the MIT–IBM Watson AI Lab in partnership with MIT. The lab will carry out fundamental artificial intelligence (AI) research and seek to propel scientific breakthroughs that unlock the potential of AI...
  • Making data centers more energy efficientMost modern websites store data in databases, and since database queries are relatively slow, most sites also maintain so-called cache servers, which list the results of common queries for faster access. A data center for a major web service such as Google or Facebook might have as many as 1,000...
  • Two sciences tie the knot Economics and computer science had always been on friendly terms at MIT. With the growth of cloud computing, e-commerce, machine learning, and online social networks, their relationship grew more serious. Now that these tools and applications have become ubiquitous and gone global, economics...
  • Robot learns to follow orders like Alexa Despite what you might see in movies, today’s robots are still very limited in what they can do. They can be great for many repetitive tasks, but their inability to understand the nuances of human language makes them mostly useless for more complicated requests.
  • Indyk receives NSF funding for new Institute for Foundations of Data ScienceThis week it was announced that a team led by CSAIL principal investigator and MIT professor Piotr Indyk will receive funding to develop a new “Institute for Foundations of Data Science” at MIT.The project is part of the National Science Foundation’s new $17.7 million effort towards “...
  • Custom robots in a matter of minutes Even as robots become increasingly common, they remain incredibly difficult to make. From designing and modeling to fabricating and testing, the process is slow and costly: Even one small change can mean days or weeks of rethinking and revising important hardware. But what if there were a...
  • Custom robots in a matter of minutesEven as robots become increasingly common, they remain incredibly difficult to make. From designing and modeling to fabricating and testing, the process is slow and costly: Even one small change can mean days or weeks of rethinking and revising important hardware. But what if there were a way to...
  • Monitoring network traffic more efficiently In today’s data networks, traffic analysis — determining which links are getting congested and why — is usually done by computers at the network’s edge, which try to infer the state of the network from the times at which different data packets reach their destinations.
  • MIT App Inventor receives award from the Mass Technology Leadership CouncilThis week it was announced that Mass Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) will present CSAIL principal investigator Hal Abelson’s team with the Distinguished Leadership Award for their work on the MIT App Inventor.App Inventor is a cloud-based open-source tool that lets users of all skill levels...
  • Using machine learning to improve patient care Doctors are often deluged by signals from charts, test results, and other metrics to keep track of. It can be difficult to integrate and monitor all of these data for multiple patients while making real-time treatment decisions, especially when data is documented inconsistently across...
  • High-quality online video with less rebuffering We’ve all experienced two hugely frustrating things on YouTube: our video either suddenly gets pixelated, or it stops entirely to rebuffer. Both happen because of special algorithms that break videos into small chunks that load as you go. If your internet is slow, YouTube might make the next...
  • High-quality online video with less rebufferingWe’ve all experienced two hugely frustrating things on YouTube: our video either suddenly gets pixelated, or it stops entirely to rebuffer. Both happen because of special algorithms that break videos into small chunks that load as you go. If your internet is slow, YouTube might make the next...
  • New AI algorithm monitors sleep with radio waves More than 50 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders, and diseases including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s can also disrupt sleep. Diagnosing and monitoring these conditions usually requires attaching electrodes and a variety of other sensors to patients, which can further disrupt their...
  • Designing the microstructure of printed objects Today’s 3-D printers have a resolution of 600 dots per inch, which means that they could pack a billion tiny cubes of different materials into a volume that measures just 1.67 cubic inches. Such precise control of printed objects’ microstructure gives designers commensurate control of the...
  • Automatic image retouching on your phone The data captured by today’s digital cameras is often treated as the raw material of a final image. Before uploading pictures to social networking sites, even casual cellphone photographers might spend a minute or two balancing color and tuning contrast, with one of the many popular image-...
  • Somersaulting simulation for jumping botsIn recent years engineers have been developing new technologies to enable robots and humans to move faster and jump higher. Soft, elastic materials store energy in these devices, which, if released carefully, enable elegant dynamic motions. Robots leap over obstacles and prosthetics empower...
  • Reshaping computer-aided design Almost every object we use is developed with computer-aided design (CAD). Ironically, while CAD programs are good for creating designs, using them is actually very difficult and time-consuming if you’re trying to improve an existing design to make the most optimal product.
  • Artificial intelligence suggests recipes based on food photos There are few things social media users love more than flooding their feeds with photos of food. Yet we seldom use these images for much more than a quick scroll on our cellphones.
  • Watch 3-D movies at home, sans glassesWhile 3-D movies continue to be popular in theaters, they haven’t made the leap to our homes just yet — and the reason rests largely on the ridge of your nose. Ever wonder why we wear those pesky 3-D glasses? Theaters generally either use special polarized light or project a pair of images that...
  • Watch 3-D movies at home, sans glasses While 3-D movies continue to be popular in theaters, they haven’t made the leap to our homes just yet — and the reason rests largely on the ridge of your nose.
  • Using chip memory more efficiently For decades, computer chips have increased efficiency by using “caches,” small, local memory banks that store frequently used data and cut down on time- and energy-consuming communication with off-chip memory. Today’s chips generally have three or even four different levels of cache, each of...
  • Practical parallelism The chips in most modern desktop computers have four “cores,” or processing units, which can run different computational tasks in parallel. But the chips of the future could have dozens or even hundreds of cores, and taking advantage of all that parallelism is a stiff challenge. Researchers...
  • Peering into neural networks Neural networks, which learn to perform computational tasks by analyzing large sets of training data, are responsible for today’s best-performing artificial intelligence systems, from speech recognition systems, to automatic translators, to self-driving cars. But neural nets are black boxes...
  • Computer system predicts products of chemical reactions When organic chemists identify a useful chemical compound — a new drug, for instance — it’s up to chemical engineers to determine how to mass-produce it. There could be 100 different sequences of reactions that yield the same end product. But some of them use cheaper reagents and lower...
  • Drones that drive Being able to both walk and take flight is typical in nature — many birds, insects, and other animals can do both. If we could program robots with similar versatility, it would open up many possibilities: Imagine machines that could fly into construction areas or disaster zones that aren’t...
  • Origami anything In a 1999 paper, Erik Demaine — now a CSAIL principal investigaor, but then an 18-year-old PhD student at the University of Waterloo, in Canada — described an algorithm that could determine how to fold a piece of paper into any conceivable 3-D shape. It was a milestone paper in the...
  • New technique makes brain scans better People who suffer a stroke often undergo a brain scan at the hospital, allowing doctors to determine the location and extent of the damage. Researchers who study the effects of strokes would love to be able to analyze these images, but the resolution is often too low for many analyses.
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