Pixar’s Catmull, Hanrahan Honored With ACM’s Turing Award

Computer graphics pioneering researchers Ed Catmull and Pat Hanrahan were awarded the A.M. Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery and are splitting the $1 million prize money. Catmull recruited Hanrahan, a fellow computer graphics researcher, to found Pixar in 1986. Catmull started his work as a grad student at the University of Utah’s graphics lab in 1970 and vowed to create a feature film from computer generated imagery. Catmull and Hanrahan, between them, have received eight Academy Awards. Continue reading Pixar’s Catmull, Hanrahan Honored With ACM’s Turing Award

Microsoft Research Leads Team to Author AI Ethics Checklist

Microsoft Research, with almost 50 engineers from a dozen technology companies, created a checklist for AI ethics intended to spur conversation on the topic and raise some “good tension” within organizations. To that end, the list, rather than asking “yes” or “no” questions, instead suggests that teams “define fairness criteria.” Participants were not identified by name, but many are in AI-related fields like computer vision, natural language processing and predictive analytics. The group hopes to inspire future efforts. Continue reading Microsoft Research Leads Team to Author AI Ethics Checklist

AI Pioneers Are Honored With the Prestigious Turing Award

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) honored three artificial intelligence pioneers with the prestigious Turing Award for their work on neural networks. The Turing Award, often dubbed the Nobel Prize of computing, was launched in 1966 and includes a $1 million prize that the three honorees will share. Doctors Geoffrey Hinton, Yann LeCun and Yoshua Bengio helped lay the foundation for the evolution of technologies including facial recognition, digital assistants and self-driving vehicles. Continue reading AI Pioneers Are Honored With the Prestigious Turing Award

Google Details Network Challenges, Seeks Academic Feedback

In an unprecedented move, Google revealed the details of how it developed and improved software-defined networking (SDN). In a paper presented at the ACM SIGCOMM 2015 conference in London, Google described the steps taken over a ten-year period, moving from third party vendor switches in 2004 to, a year later, building its own hardware and shuttling data among servers in its own data centers. The company is describing its network in part to share its experiences and seek assistance from the academic community. Continue reading Google Details Network Challenges, Seeks Academic Feedback

Microsoft Details How to Shoot for its HoloLens AR Headset

Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality headset allows video — which can be streamed over the Internet — to be viewed from any angle, combining the real world with computer-generated imagery. Whereas a digital object can be rendered in 3D and easily shown from any angle, live action isn’t so accommodating. To that end, the Silicon Valley company just came out with a document giving specific directions on how to capture and handle live action footage for use with its AR headset.

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SIGGRAPH 2014: Lenovo Powers Up its ThinkStation P Series

Lenovo demonstrated its vision for the ultimate in desktop workstation performance, reliability and usability with the introduction of the Lenovo P900, P700 and P500 workstations. The new ThinkStation P Series models unveiled at SIGGRAPH last week in Vancouver are designed to be the most powerful professional-grade desktop workstations available and reflect a focus by Lenovo on customer needs, especially in graphics intensive industries such as visual effects and animation. Continue reading SIGGRAPH 2014: Lenovo Powers Up its ThinkStation P Series

New Animation Technology to Save Production Time and Cost

A team from Disney Research Zürich led by Wojciech Jarosz has developed a new rendering technique that is expected to save animators significant time in the editing process of feature films. The new computational algorithm, which is being presented at this week’s ACM SIGGRAPH Asia conference in Hong Kong, can reduce rendering times for scenes that are affected by light — like those with water and smoke — by a factor of up to 1,000. Continue reading New Animation Technology to Save Production Time and Cost

SIGGRAPH: Disney Uses 3D Printing to Create Expressive Eyes

Disney Research is using 3D printing to create components to build expressive eyes for robots. However, rather than mimic human eyes, which can appear strange to some, the robot eyes have a cartoonish look. The technology may have future applications for interactive toys, video game characters and possibly even human prosthetic eyes. The research team demonstrated the technology at the ACM SIGGRAPH Conference in Anaheim last week. Continue reading SIGGRAPH: Disney Uses 3D Printing to Create Expressive Eyes