This CoR brings together researchers at CSAIL working across a broad swath of application domains. Within these lie novel and challenging machine learning problems serving science, social science and computer science.
This CoR aims to develop AI technology that synthesizes symbolic reasoning, probabilistic reasoning for dealing with uncertainty in the world, and statistical methods for extracting and exploiting regularities in the world, into an integrated picture of intelligence that is informed by computational insights and by cognitive science.
This community is interested in understanding and affecting the interaction between computing systems and society through engineering, computer science and public policy research, education, and public engagement.
We use visualization as a petri dish to study intelligence augmentation, or how can computational representations and software systems help amplify our cognition and creativity, while respecting our agency?
Alloy is a language for describing structures and a tool for exploring them. It has been used in a wide range of applications from finding holes in security mechanisms to designing telephone switching networks. Hundreds of projects have used Alloy for design analysis, for verification, for simulation, and as a backend for many other kinds of analysis and synthesis tools, and Alloy is currently being taught in courses worldwide.
In order to be able to design synthetic organs that function autonomously, we will need to engineer artificial tissue homeostasis. To control the size of these artificial tissues, two major mechanisms will have to be engineered.
Automatic speech recognition (ASR) has been a grand challenge machine learning problem for decades. Our ongoing research in this area examines the use of deep learning models for distant and noisy recording conditions, multilingual, and low-resource scenarios.
We aim to study the impact of computer-supported roleplaying in changing social perspectives of digital media users. Such media could take the form of videogames, VR systems, training software, and other types of interactive narrative technology.
Mixed-methods qualitative (interviews and coding) and computational (AI) approach to understanding relationships between social identities, cultural values, and virtual identity technologies (e.g., online profiles and avatars).
Existing methods for cloning and recombination of DNA enable construction of arbitrary sequences. However, the sequential nature of these techniques makes them time-consuming and expensive. Furthermore, while the transformation of an existing plasmid into a host strain can be reliable when a selection marker is used, there are many current limitations: the number of different plasmids that can be co-transformed is limited by the choice of markers and compatible origins of replication; plasmids are less stable than chromosomal DNA and are difficult to maintain indefinitely without mutation; and cistronic interactions cannot be designed since each new nucleotide sequence added is on an unconnected DNA molecule. To overcome these limitations, we are designing reconfigurable chromosomes consisting of both fixed and variable regions. While the fixed region is carefully optimized and tuned ahead of time, the variable region can be modified in the field, at the point-of-use, leading to rapid and on-demand realization of novel biocircuits with many different phenotypes.
We develop, parameterize, and validate a model for tumor growth inhibition using in vivo mouse data and study the effects of modeling uncertainty and inter-individual variability on drug candidate efficacy predictions.
We develop algorithms, systems and software architectures for automating reconstruction of accurate representations of neural tissue structures, such as nanometer-scale neurons' morphology and synaptic connections in the mammalian cortex.
The Robot Compiler allows non-engineering users to rapidly fabricate customized robots, facilitating the proliferation of robots in everyday life. It thereby marks an important step towards the realization of personal robots that have captured imaginations for decades.
With the vast growth of next-generation sequencing data, it’s hard to remember that in 1869 Friedrich Miescher isolated DNA for the first time using cells from nearby hospital bandages. Computational genomics has now ushered in a new era of precision medicine, helping find clinically relevant mutations, potential diagnostics for asthma, and precision-based, personalized medicine.
The confluence of medicine and artificial intelligence stands to create truly high-performance, specialized care for patients, with enhanced precision diagnosis and personalized disease management. But to supercharge these systems we need massive amounts of personal health data, coupled with a delicate balance of privacy, transparency, and trust.
Neural networks, which learn to perform computational tasks by analyzing huge sets of training data, have been responsible for the most impressive recent advances in artificial intelligence, including speech-recognition and automatic-translation systems.
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 temperatures than others, and perhaps most importantly, some are much easier to run continuously, with technicians occasionally topping up reagents in different reaction chambers.
Hyper-connectivity has changed the way we communicate, wait, and productively use our time. Even in a world of 5G wireless and “instant” messaging, there are countless moments throughout the day when we’re waiting for messages, texts, and Snapchats to refresh. But our frustrations with waiting a few extra seconds for our emails to push through doesn’t mean we have to simply stand by.
For 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 information they need.A few years ago, a team of nutritionists from Tufts University who had been experimenting with mobile-phone apps for recording caloric intake approached members of the Spoken Language Systems Group at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), with the idea of a spoken-language application that would make meal logging even easier.
Every 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.In the 2015 volume of Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, CSAIL researchers describe a new machine-learning system that, like several systems before it, can learn to distinguish spoken words. But unlike its predecessors, it can also learn to distinguish lower-level phonetic units, such as syllables and phonemes.