Toyota Funds AI Research to Build Autonomous Cars

Network World, 2/7/2017

Toyota is investing 50 million dollars and partnering with Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to develop artificial intelligence and robotics technology needed for advanced driver-assistance systems. While Toyota is not trying to develop a fully automated car, they note that incremental advances in such driver-aid systems could eventually lead to driverless smart cars.

New Algorithms by University of Toronto Researchers May Revolutionize Drug Discoveries

University of Toronto News, 2/6/2017

University of Toronto researchers have developed algorithms which can efficiently generate an accurate 3D image of a protein molecule from several 2D images in just a few minutes. This advance has far-reaching implications for the medical field. For example, drug researchers will be able to use these 3D protein models to analyze the structure of disease-specific proteins and predict the way experimental medications will bind to those proteins inside the body.

Mobile Phone and Satellite Data to Map Poverty

University of Southampton, 2/07/2017

Researchers, led by WorldPop at University of Southampton and Flowminder Foundation, have developed a way to measure poverty levels in Bangladesh. They combine anonymous mobile phone data, such as data usage and distances traveled by the phone’s user, with satellite sensor data such as use of electric lights. They hope to provide more precise data about poverty levels to help governments and relief organizations combat poverty.

Twitter Data Could Improve Subway Operations During Big Events

University at Buffalo News Center, 1/26/2017

Research performed at the University at Buffalo has suggested that the swelling of subway usage during large events correlates closely with increases in Twitter activity. The Twitter data, which can be filtered by location and content, could potentially become a cost-effective aid to event planning and transit scheduling for crowded occasions.

From Jingles to Pop Hits, A.I. Is Music to Some Ears

New York Times, 1/22/2017

A number of companies are beginning to use artificial intelligence to compose music. For example, music can be generated using artificial neural networks that learn the structure of human-generated music, then produce new instances. This article focuses on the start-up Jukedeck, but also covers several other companies, including Google and IBM, that are creating their own music-generation AIs — each with different approaches. These developments have the potential to create a new dynamic in the music industry.

For Driverless Cars, a Moral Dilemma: Who Lives or Dies?

Associated Press, 1/18/2017

Researchers at MIT are conducting a worldwide survey to determine how consumers think a self-driving car should handle morally complex situations. Their findings will tell designers how drivers will generally expect their self-driving vehicles to react, and what might need to be added so that potential buyers can better trust the new technology.

AI Spots Skin Cancer as Well as Human Doctor

Newsweek, 1/26/2017

A team of researchers at Stanford University has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that can identify early symptoms of skin cancer. The researchers trained the algorithm with a large data set of images that had already been identified as cancerous or benign. The algorithm identifies skin lesions with the same accuracy as board-certified dermatologists.

China to Develop Prototype Super, Super Computer in 2017

Phys.org, 1/17/2017

China is seeking to prototype an exascale computer (capable of a billion billion calculations per second) by the end of the year, thereby ensuring the country’s position as a world leader in supercomputing. The calculation speed and data transmission efficiency of this system would have far-reaching implications in enabling big data analysis and cloud computing.

UA-Developed Avatar Is Helping to Screen New Arrivals at Bucharest Airport

UANews, 1/9/2017

Romanian border police are using a system designed by the University of Arizona called AVATAR (Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessments in Real-Time), to screen international travelers at a Bucharest airport. The system is intended to measure body language, verbal responses, and physiological conditions before providing a summary for human personnel. Results from testing in Bucharest could influence whether and how the AVATAR system is implemented in the future.