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Research is the lifeblood of CSAIL. Applying computational thinking and advanced technologies, we pose difficult questions and pursue innovative answers. While research is our core activity, we view it not as an end in itself but as a means to an end. The goal is not merely to build our knowledge but rather to impact our world. Ultimately, our research is intended to someday improve the way we live, work, and play; heal, travel, and learn; manage our lives, and care for our environment. READ MORE >>
March 31, 2016We’ve all been there, impatiently twiddling our thumbs while trying to locate a WiFi signal. But what if, instead, the WiFi could locate us?
According to researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), it could mean safer drones, smarter homes, and password-
March 25, 2016The Microsoft Kinect was a boon to robotics researchers. The cheap, off-the-shelf depth sensor allowed them to quickly and cost-effectively prototype innovative systems that enable robots to map, interpret, and navigate their environments.
But sensors like the Kinect, which use infrared light to
March 24, 2016For people struggling with obesity, logging calorie counts and other nutritional information at every meal is a proven way to lose weight. The technique does require consistency and accuracy, however, and when it fails, it’s usually because people don't have the time to find and record all the
March 18, 2016Most people with smartphones use a range of applications that collect personal information and store it on Internet-connected servers — and from their desktop or laptop computers, they connect to Web services that do the same. Some use still other Internet-connected devices, such as thermostats or
March 09, 2016There are few things more frustrating than a slow-loading webpage. For companies, what’s even worse is what comes after: users abandoning their site in droves. Amazon, for example, estimates that every 100-millisecond delay cuts their profits by 1 percent.To help combat this problem, researchers
March 07, 2016Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have developed a new system that allows Web users to share self-selected aspects of their online activity with their friends and the general public. The hope is to give users themselves, as well as academics and
February 17, 2016Autonomous robots performing a joint task send each other continual updates: “I’ve passed through a door and am turning 90 degrees right.” “After advancing 2 feet I’ve encountered a wall. I’m turning 90 degrees right.” “After advancing 4 feet I’ve encountered a wall.” And so on.
February 15, 2016
Planning algorithms are widely used in logistics and control. They can help schedule flights and bus routes, guide autonomous robots, and determine control policies for the power grid, among other things.
In recent years, planning algorithms have begun to factor in uncertainty — variations
February 12, 2016
This month it was announced that CSAIL researchers Nir Shavit and Charles Leiserson will be participating in a cross-institutional consortium project at Harvard focused on brain-mapping.Merging the disciplines of data science and neuroscience, the Machine Intelligence from Cortical Networks (
February 03, 2016
In recent years, some of the most exciting advances in artificial intelligence have come courtesy of convolutional neural networks, large virtual networks of simple information-processing units, which are loosely modeled on the anatomy of the human brain.
Neural networks are typically implemented
February 02, 2016
Researchers at CSAIL and MIT's Microsystems Research Laboratories (MTL) have developed a low-power chip for processing 3-D camera data that could help visually impaired people navigate their environments. The chip consumes only one-thousandth as much power as a conventional computer
January 29, 2016CSAIL researchers have developed a machine-learning system that can comb through repairs to open-source computer programs and learn their general properties, in order to produce new repairs for a different set of programs.
The researchers tested their system on a set of programming errors, culled
January 19, 2016Getting drones to fly around without hitting things is no small task. Obstacle-detection and motion-planning are two of computer science’s trickiest challenges, because of the complexity involved in creating real-time flight plans that avoid obstacles and handle surprises like wind and weather.
January 05, 2016The new Toyota Research Institute (TRI) - a $1 billion investment in artificial intelligence - aims to reduce traffic casualties, develop cars capable of navigating without human input, and advance the field of autonomous systems. This week TRI announced the advisory board and initial technical
January 04, 2016We humans take for granted our remarkable ability to predict things that happen around us. For example, consider Rube Goldberg machines: One of the reasons we enjoy them is because we can watch a chain-reaction of objects fall, roll, slide and collide, and anticipate what happens next.
But how do
December 23, 2015Object-recognition systems are beginning to get pretty good — and in the case of Facebook’s face-recognition algorithms, frighteningly good.
But object-recognition systems are typically trained on millions of visual examples, which is a far cry from how humans learn. Show a human two or three
December 16, 2015Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have created an algorithm that can predict how memorable or forgettable an image is almost as accurately as humans — and they plan to turn it into an app that subtly tweaks photos to make them more memorable.
December 10, 2015
Researchers at CSAIL, New York University, and the University of Toronto have developed a computer system whose ability to produce a variation of a character in an unfamiliar writing system, on the first try, is indistinguishable from that of humans.
That means that the system in some sense
December 08, 2015It’s been a busy year for MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). Researchers won the Turing Award, created groundbreaking algorithms to fix code and detect disease, and developed exciting new robots and artificial-intelligence systems. As 2015 comes to a close,
December 07, 2015
Anonymity networks, which sit on top of the public Internet, are designed to conceal people’s Web-browsing habits from prying eyes. The most popular of these, Tor, has been around for more than a decade and is used by millions of people every day.
Recent research, however, has shown that
November 23, 2015This week CSAIL principal investigator Victor W. Zue was one of three MIT faculty members to be elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), according to the journal Science.
The new fellows are part of a group of 347 AAAS members elected by their
November 20, 2015CSAIL principal investigator Ruth Rosenholtz was on Science Friday today to discuss her research applying computer-vision techniques to transit maps. Her computer models are capable of determining how well people will comprehend a subway map (or other complex visualizations) in a
November 19, 2015CSAIL researchers have found that much of the data transferred to and from the 500 most popular free applications for Google Android cellphones make little or no difference to the user’s experience.
Of those “covert” communications, roughly half appear to be initiated by standard Android analytics
November 17, 2015This week NASA announced that MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) is one of just two institutions who will receive “R5,” a six-foot, 290-pound humanoid robot also known as “Valkyrie” that will serve on future space missions to Mars and beyond.
Full story here.
November 17, 2015This week NASA announced that MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) is one of just two institutions who will receive “R5,” a six-foot, 290-pound humanoid robot also known as “Valkyrie” that will serve on future space missions to Mars and beyond.A group led by
November 13, 2015
As smartphones become people’s primary computers and their primary cameras, there is growing demand for mobile versions of image-processing applications.
Image processing, however, can be computationally intensive and could quickly drain a cellphone’s battery. Some mobile applications try to
November 05, 2015
At the Siggraph Asia conference this week, MIT researchers presented a pair of papers describing techniques for either magnifying or smoothing out small variations in digital images.
The techniques could be used to produce more polished images for graphic-design projects, or, applied in the
November 05, 2015Spend 10 minutes on social media, and you’ll learn that people love infographics. But why, exactly, do we gravitate towards articles with titles like “24 Diagrams to Help You Eat Healthier” and “All You Need To Know About Beer In One Chart”? Do they actually serve their purpose of not only
November 04, 2015By exploiting the graphics-rendering software that powers sports video games, researchers at MIT and the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) have developed a system that automatically converts 2-D video of soccer games into 3-D.
The converted video can be played back over any 3-D device —
November 02, 2015A researcher from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) has developed an obstacle-detection system that allows a drone to autonomously dip, dart and dive through a tree-filled field at upwards of 30 miles per hour. (Full story)
November 02, 2015This week MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) announced that it has received a $1 million gift from MasterCard that will go towards the research efforts of Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and co-leader of the lab’s Decentralized Information Group.
October 30, 2015In creating what looks to be a simple children’s musical instrument—a xylophone with keys in the shape of zoo animals—computer scientists at CSAIL, Columbia, Harvard and Disney Research have demonstrated that sound can be controlled by 3D-printing shapes.
The team designed an optimization
October 29, 2015Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab have developed a soft robotic cube that uses a series of spring-loaded metal tongues to jump, bounce and roll along rocky terrain.
The three-inch-wide, seven-ounce cube is able to jump more than
October 28, 2015A team of researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) has long believed that wireless signals like WiFi can be used to see things that are invisible to the naked eye.
Since 2013, CSAIL researchers have been developing technologies that use wireless signals to track
October 27, 2015
“Indistinguishability obfuscation” is a powerful concept that would yield provably secure versions of every cryptographic system we’ve ever developed and all those we’ve been unable to develop. But nobody knows how to put it into practice.
Last week, at the IEEE Symposium on Foundations of
October 27, 2015Today represents the first day of the 2015-2016 NBA season, and we want to help.
Well, sort of. Over the years, CSAIL researchers have regularly participated in the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, where computer scientists and mathematicians come together to discuss research
October 26, 2015A researcher from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) has developed an obstacle-detection system that allows a drone to autonomously dip, dart and dive through a tree-filled field at upwards of 30 miles per hour.
“Everyone is building drones these days, but
October 22, 2015We are making breakthroughs almost weekly in our understanding of cancer and other deadly diseases, both in how to treat and – in some cases – how to cure them. So why is funding for early stage biomedical research and development declining just when we need it most?
October 17, 2015Every year corporations under-report roughly $91 billion of taxable income via schemes known as “partnerships and S corporations." The government tweaks its regulations every year to try to keep up with all of the complicated methods, but, just like a big game of Whack-a-Mole, every time one
October 08, 2015Congratulations to this year's Nobel Prize winners!
While computer science has no formal Nobel Prize, the Association for Computing Machinery’s A.M. Turing Award is often described as “the Nobel Prize of computing.”
Over the years, more than a dozen CSAIL-affiliated computer scientists have receive
October 06, 2015
CSAIL researchers are developing a computer system that uses genetic, demographic, and clinical data to help predict the effects of disease on brain anatomy.
In experiments, they trained a machine-learning system on MRI data from patients with neurodegenerative diseases and found that
October 01, 2015Machine learning, which is the basis for most commercial artificial-intelligence systems, is intrinsically probabilistic. An object-recognition algorithm asked to classify a particular image, for instance, might conclude that it has a 60 percent chance of depicting a dog, but a 30 percent chance of
September 30, 2015Robots have many strong suits, but delicacy traditionally hasn’t been one of them. Rigid limbs and digits make it difficult for them to grasp, hold, and manipulate a range of everyday objects without dropping or crushing them.
Recently, CSAIL researchers have discovered that the solution may
September 28, 20153D printing is great, assuming that all you need to do is print one material for one purpose, and that you’re okay with it taking a few tries. But the technology is still far behind where it could be in reliably
September 24, 2015CSAIL researcher Matei Zaharai was recently profiled by The Economist in a story about the state of cloud-computing start-ups.
Zaharia is co-founder of Databricks, a promising startup whose data-crunching technology Spark has drawn the attention of prominent developers, as well as a little
September 23, 2015
CSAIL researchers have designed a computer system that learns how to play a text-based computer game with no prior assumptions about how language works. Although the system can’t complete the game as a whole, its ability to complete sections of it suggests that, in some sense, it discovers
September 17, 2015Researchers at CSAIL and Boston Children’s Hospital have developed a system that can take MRI scans of a patient’s heart and, in a matter of hours, convert them into a tangible, physical model that surgeons can use to plan surgery.
The models could provide a more intuitive way for surgeons to
September 14, 2015Every language has its own collection of phonemes, or the basic phonetic units from which spoken words are composed. Depending on how you count, English has somewhere between 35 and 45. Knowing a language’s phonemes can make it much easier for automated systems to learn to interpret speech.
September 09, 2015By Larry Hardesty, MIT News
In a modern, multicore chip, every core — or processor — has its own small memory cache, where it stores frequently used data. But the chip also has a larger, shared cache, which all the cores can access.
If one core tries to update data in the shared cache,
September 04, 2015The World Health Organization estimates that 3,400 people die each day from traffic-related accidents. Could autonomous cars be part of the solution?
Today CSAIL announced a new $25 million research center funded by Toyota to further the development of autonomous vehicle technologies, with