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  • Artificial intelligence
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  • News in Brief

    These robots can follow how-to diagrams

    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...

    01/16/2019 - 14:00 Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Technology
  • Year in Review

    Artificial intelligence is mastering a wider variety of jobs than ever before

    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 you

    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...

    12/27/2018 - 11:46 Artificial Intelligence
  • News

    Artificial intelligence crowdsources data to speed up drug discovery

    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...

    10/18/2018 - 14:00 Artificial Intelligence, Biomedicine, Technology
  • Feature

    Anshumali Shrivastava uses AI to wrangle torrents of data

    Anshumali Shrivastava, 33Computer ScienceRice University

    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.

    “We have...

    09/26/2018 - 08:28 Artificial Intelligence, Numbers, Technology
  • News in Brief

    A new AI can focus on one voice in a crowd

    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...

    06/11/2018 - 09:00 Artificial Intelligence, Technology
  • News

    This AI uses the same kind of brain wiring as mammals to navigate

    An artificial intelligence that navigates its environment much like mammals do could help solve a mystery about our own internal GPS.

    Equipped with virtual versions of specialized brain nerve cells called grid cells, the AI could easily solve and plan new routes through virtual mazes. That performance, described online May 9 in Nature, suggests the grid cells in animal brains play a...

    05/09/2018 - 13:00 Artificial Intelligence, Neuroscience
  • Science Ticker

    First pedestrian death from a self-driving car fuels safety debate

    The first known pedestrian fatality involving a fully autonomous self-driving car will most likely raise questions about the vehicles’ safety.

    But “until we know what happened, we can’t really know what this incident means” for the future of self-driving vehicles, says Philip Koopman, a robotics safety expert at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Only when we know more about the...

    03/19/2018 - 18:24 Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Science & Society
  • News in Brief

    AI bests humans at mapping the moon

    Artificial intelligence is helping draw a more detailed map of the moon.

    An AI that studied lunar images to learn what craters look like has discovered thousands of new pockmarks on the moon’s surface. This program could also be used to catalog impact scars on other moons or planets, which might improve scientists’ understanding of how various objects roamed our solar system in the past...

    03/15/2018 - 15:53 Artificial Intelligence, Planetary Science
  • News

    In the future, an AI may diagnose eye problems

    The computer will see you now.

    Artificial intelligence algorithms may soon bring the diagnostic know-how of an eye doctor to primary care offices and walk-in clinics, speeding up the detection of health problems and the start of treatment, especially in areas where specialized doctors are scarce. The first such program — trained to spot symptoms of diabetes-related vision loss in eye...

    03/04/2018 - 08:00 Artificial Intelligence, Clinical Trials, Biomedicine
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘Machines That Think’ predicts the future of artificial intelligence

    Machines That ThinkToby WalshPrometheus Books, $16

    Movies and other media are full of mixed messages about the risks and rewards of building machines with minds of their own. For every manipulative automaton like Ex Machina’s Ava (SN: 5/16/15, p. 26), there’s a helpful Star Wars droid. And while some tech titans such as Elon Musk warn of the threats artificial intelligence presents...

    02/02/2018 - 15:20 Artificial Intelligence, Computing, Science & Society