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Computing Is the Secret Ingredient (well, not so secret)

Communications of the ACM

Perhaps you remember the iconic theme of the globally popular Kung Fu Panda movies, "You are the secret ingredient!" This meant that self-belief is important and with it great things can be achieved--Po, for example, became the Dragon Warrior. My meaning here is that computer science is both a powerful enabler of rapid advances in all intellectual fields and a disruptor driving furious revolutions in commerce and society worldwide. Computer science is more important and potent than ever! Computing is driving unprecedented rapid change.


Here is the person to ask about the future of robotics and computing

@machinelearnbot

When Brandon Araki arrived at MIT in 2015 as a master's candidate in mechanical engineering, he brought along the picobug, a tiny robot that can fly, crawl, and grasp small objects. Before Araki joined Daniela Rus's Distributed Robotics Lab (DRL), he'd been working with collaborators at several universities on the diminutive autonomous machine, which weighs 30 grams and fits in the palm of his hand. He wasn't quite sure what he might do next with the picobug, but when his new boss watched it in action, she was smitten. "I want a hundred of them!" Rus said. This request wasn't just greedy excitement.


How researchers are using NLP and machine learning to ease your information overload

#artificialintelligence

What if you could create an accurate summary of a lengthy article at the touch of a button? What if you could quickly scroll through a bibliography, filtered to show only the citations relevant to your needs? What if you could get your research out into the world faster, and have that knowledge built upon sooner? Science and technology are generating more data than ever faster than ever, so it's getter harder and harder to keep up and manage this information. Therefore, it's crucial to find ways to automate the discovery and interpretation of the information we need – and only that information.


Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella: AI must be built with empathy

#artificialintelligence

Speaking at two events in London that coincided with the release of his book, Hit Refresh, the Chief Executive of Microsoft said new technology will have a "profound impact on our daily lives and do good" but companies must also be mindful of "unintended consequences". We want to create AI that empowers humans and make that a core, conscious design decision." It's a key theme in Hit Refresh, which focuses on individual change, the transformation happening inside Microsoft and new technology such as AI. "There are a lot of computational problems we [humans] can't solve.


New program teaches data science for energy and environment research

@machinelearnbot

To comprehensively study, understand and inform policy around these complex systems, the next generation of researchers in the physical, social and biological sciences will need fluency with data analysis methods that transverse traditional academic boundaries. A new interdisciplinary curriculum will train graduate students from geosciences, economics, computer science, public policy and other programs in computational and data science techniques critical for modern science. The program will build upon successful UChicago training initiatives such as the Executive Program in Applied Data Analytics, the Computational Analysis and Public Policy curriculum at the Harris School of Public Policy and the Data Science for Social Good Summer Fellowship. Instruction and mentorship will be provided by several UChicago research groups, including the Center for Robust Decision-Making on Climate and Energy Policy (climate and agricultural modeling), Knowledge Lab (text mining), the Energy Policy Institute at UChicago (environmental and energy economics), the Center for Data Science and Public Policy (data analytics and project management) and the Center for Spatial Data Science (spatial analysis).


MS in Computer Science in USA: Top Universities, Hottest Specializations and Application Tips for International Students

@machinelearnbot

In this post, we will look into the top universities for MS in Computer Science, hottest computer science specializations to study in USA and MS application tips.


Turing Laureates Celebrate Award's 50th Anniversary

Communications of the ACM

Among the 22 Turing Laureates in attendance at the conference were: Front row, from left: Whitfield Diffie (2015), Martin Hellman (2015), Robert Tarjan (1986), Barbara Liskov (2008). Among the 22 Turing Laureates in attendance at the conference were: Front row, from left: Whitfield Diffie (2015), Martin Hellman (2015), Robert Tarjan (1986), Barbara Liskov (2008). Butler Lampson, the 1992 Turing Laureate ("for contributions to the development of distributed, personal computing environments and the technology for their implementation: workstations, networks, operating systems, programming systems, displays, security, and document publishing"), said, "There's plenty of room at the top; there's room in software, algorithms, and hardware." A panel on Moore's Law was moderated by John Hennessy (left) and included Doug Burger, Norman Jouppi, Butler Lampson (1992), and Margaret Martonosi.


Zooming in on climate predictions

@machinelearnbot

"Rather than using machine learning to get people to click ads or maximize page views, I decided solving problems in climate science was a better use of my skills and time." "Rather than using machine learning to get people to click ads or maximize page views, I decided solving problems in climate science was a better use of my skills and time," Vandal said. "These downscaled datasets will be of immense value to climate researchers and eco-climatic modelers who want to study anything from the impact of ecosystems to changes in climate for future warming scenarios," said Sangram Ganguly, one of the study's co-authors and a senior research scientist at the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute at the NASA Ames Research Center. "The computer science field changes really fast," Auroop Ganguly said.


Embed Ethical Guidelines in Autonomous Weapons

Communications of the ACM

As a combat veteran and more recently an industry technologist and university professor, I have observed with concern the increasing automation--and dehumanization--of warfare. Sarah Underwood's discussion of autonomous weapons in her news story "Potential and Peril" (June 2017) highlighting this trend also reminded me of the current effort to update the ACM Code of Ethics, which says nothing about the responsibilities of ACM members in defense industries building the software and hardware in weapons systems. Underwood said understanding the limitations, dangers, and potential of autonomous and other warfare technologies must be a priority for those designing such systems in order to minimize the "collateral damage" of civilian casualties and property/infrastructure destruction. Defense technologists must be aware of and follow appropriate ethical guidelines for creating and managing automated weapons systems of any kind.


Beware the Hype of Artificial Intelligence

#artificialintelligence

Michael Jordan, a machine learning expert and computer science professor at University of California, Berkeley, said there is "way too much hype" regarding the capabilities of so-called chat bots. Many of these software programs use an AI technique called deep learning in which they are "trained" on massive amounts of conversation data so that they learn to interact with people. But while everyone talks about ImageNet's success, "we hardly talk about the failures," she said, underscoring the hard work researchers have building powerful computers that can "see" like humans. What will help usher more breakthroughs in deep learning will be the continuing advancements in powerful computing hardware, like Nvidia's GPUs that make it possible to crunch tremendous amounts of data faster than ever, explained Ilya Sutskever, the research director of Elon Musk-backed AI research group OpenAI.