Letters to the Editor
Defining intelligence02/10/2019 - 07:15 Artificial Intelligence, Astronomy, Animals
Artificial intelligence followed fauna, diagnosed disease, mapped the moon and more in 2018, Maria Temming reported in “Artificial intelligence is mastering a wider variety of jobs than ever before” (SN: 12/22/18 & 1/5/19, p. 25).
Online reader greg found the term “artificial intelligence” misleading. “In reality what we call AI are merely classification...
HONOLULU — Artificial intelligence is starting to learn how to read between the lines.
AI systems are generally good at responding to direct statements, like “Siri, tell me the weather” or “Alexa, play ‘Despacito’.” But machines can’t yet make small talk the way humans do, says Yejin Choi, a natural language processing researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle. When it comes...
News in Brief
HONOLULU — A new training scheme could remind artificial intelligence programs that they aren’t know-it-alls.
AI programs that run robots, self-driving cars and other autonomous machines often train in simulated environments before making real-world debuts (SN: 12/8/18, p. 14). But situations that an AI doesn’t encounter in virtual reality can become blind spots in its real-life decision...
News in Brief
HONOLULU — The notion of ownership comes so easily to humans that even preschoolers have got it down. Robots, on the other hand, often struggle to grasp such abstract concepts.
Now researchers have programmed a well-mannered robot that can learn who owns what, as well as what it’s allowed to do with people’s belongings.
Teaching robots ownership-related etiquette “is really, really...
Reviews & Previews
Gods and RobotsAdrienne MayorPrinceton Univ., $29.95
Artificial intelligence and robotics are hot scientific fields today. But even in the brave new world of AI, there’s nothing new under the sun, writes classics and science history scholar Adrienne Mayor in Gods and Robots.
In a breezy and thought-provoking account, Mayor describes how ancient Greek, Roman, Indian and Chinese...
News in Brief
Robots imbued with a certain kind of common sense may soon be able to follow instructional diagrams to build things.
When studying pictures for assembling IKEA furniture or LEGO villages, humans are naturally good at inferring how to get from A to B. Robots, on the other hand, normally have to be painstakingly programmed with exact instructions for how to move. “Even when you try to...
Year in Review
In 2018, artificial intelligence took on new tasks, with these smarty-pants algorithms acing everything from disease diagnosis to crater counting.Coming to a clinic near you12/27/2018 - 11:46 Artificial Intelligence
In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration permitted marketing of the first artificial intelligence that diagnoses health problems at primary care clinics without specialist supervision (SN: 3/31/18, p. 15...
A new cryptographic system could allow pharmaceutical companies and academic labs to work together to develop new medications more quickly — without revealing any confidential data to their competitors.
The centerpiece of this computing system is an artificial intelligence program known as a neural network. The AI studies information about which drugs interact with various proteins in...
Anshumali Shrivastava, 33Computer ScienceRice University09/26/2018 - 08:28 Artificial Intelligence, Numbers, Technology
The world is awash in data, and Anshumali Shrivastava may save us from drowning in it.
Every day, over 1 billion photos are posted online. In a single second, the Large Hadron Collider can churn out a million gigabytes of observations. Big data is ballooning faster than current computer programs can analyze it.
News in Brief
Much like someone listening to a conversation at a crowded party, a new artificial intelligence can tune out background noise in videos to hear what a particular person on screen is saying.
Humans are naturally good at focusing on specific voices amidst the din — a phenomenon known as the cocktail party effect (SN Online: 4/29/14). But until now, programs designed to listen for specific...