Trump Administration Plans to Fund AI, Quantum Computing

Artificial intelligence and quantum computing would be awarded increased funding under the Trump administration’s proposed $4.8 trillion budget. The Defense Department and the National Science Foundation would receive more funds for AI research, and $25 million would go towards the creation of a national “quantum Internet,” aimed at making it more difficult to hack into digital communications. The proposed funding comes at a time that China has prioritized both new technologies, and the U.S. seeks to catch up. Continue reading Trump Administration Plans to Fund AI, Quantum Computing

Academic Supercomputer Is Unveiled by Intel and Dell EMC

Dell EMC and Intel introduced Frontera, an academic supercomputer that replaces Stampede2 at the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). The companies announced plans to build the computer in August 2018 and were funded by a $60 million National Science Foundation grant. According to Intel, Frontera’s peak performance can reach 38.7 quadrillion floating point operations per second (petaflops), making it one of the fastest such computers for modeling, simulation, big data and machine learning. Continue reading Academic Supercomputer Is Unveiled by Intel and Dell EMC

Mobile App Uses AI Technology to Edit Short Social Videos

Social video startup TRASH aims to make it simple for users to create short videos to share with friends. CEO Hannah Donovan, previously general manager at Twitter’s now defunct Vine video app, co-founder of music-discovery site This Is My Jam, and former head of creative at Last.fm, points out that research shows most consumers carry powerful cameras with them, but don’t know much about editing video content. So she set out to leverage computer vision technology to analyze video and synthesize the content into an appealing sequence. The free TRASH app does just that, as explained by its simple tagline, “You shoot, we edit.” Continue reading Mobile App Uses AI Technology to Edit Short Social Videos

Amazon, National Science Foundation to Further AI Fairness

Amazon is teaming up with the National Science Foundation (NSF), pledging up to $10 million in research grants over the next three years to further fairness in artificial intelligence and machine learning. More specifically, the grants will target “explainability” as well as potential negative biases and effects, mitigation strategies for such effects, validation of fairness and inclusivity. The goal is to encourage “broadened acceptance” of AI, thus enabling the U.S. to make better progress on the technology’s evolution. Continue reading Amazon, National Science Foundation to Further AI Fairness

Industry Roadmap Outlines Path to Continued AI Dominance

The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) released a draft of its 20-year roadmap for AI research in the U.S., with numerous proposed steps and a call for ongoing support from the federal government to maintain dominance. The roadmap was the work of companies and researchers who held workshops in fall 2018 and in early 2019. USC director of knowledge technologies Yolanda Gil and Stanford University professor Dr. Fei-Fei Li were two of the roadmap organizers. Last month, President Trump signed the American AI Initiative. Continue reading Industry Roadmap Outlines Path to Continued AI Dominance

Fashion, Sensors Join Forces in Luxury Bracelet with a Secret

Dr. Gerald Wilmink, founder and chief executive WiseWear, did not set out to create a high-fashion bracelet with sensors that allow the wearer to discreetly call for help in an emergency. His initial impetus to create wearables came from his grandfather, who suffered from a disease that combined features of Parkinsons and Alzheimers. That’s why WiseWear’s first wearable was a hearable, WiseAid, that combined the features of a hearing aid with an ability to predict falls, by looking at motion, balance and gait. Continue reading Fashion, Sensors Join Forces in Luxury Bracelet with a Secret

Advanced Wireless Research Initiative to Develop 5G Networks

The Obama administration has announced its Advanced Wireless Research Initiative, a government-funded $400 million seven-year project aimed at developing 5G wireless networking technology, with speeds 100 times faster than today’s 4G and LTE networks. As stated, the project also wants to “maintain U.S. leadership and win the next generation of mobile technology.” The National Science Foundation will lead the project, and other commercial partners including Samsung and carriers will participate. Continue reading Advanced Wireless Research Initiative to Develop 5G Networks

National Science Foundation Funds Stampede Supercomputer

The National Science Foundation just announced grants to build the $30 million Stampede 2 supercomputer which, outfitted with 18 petaflops, will offer twice the power of the Stampede, which debuted in March 2013. Its processing capacity puts it on a par with Cray’s Titan and IBM’s Sequoia (though not as powerful as China’s Tianhe-2). The supercomputer will be available to any researcher with a need for immense processing power, for such applications as atomic and atmospheric simulations. Continue reading National Science Foundation Funds Stampede Supercomputer

AWE 2016 Addresses Rapidly Evolving VR and AR Ecosystem

This year’s Augmented World Expo (AWE) in Santa Clara was equal parts augmented and virtual reality. Curtis Hickman of The VOID presented some compelling instances in which physical and psychological misdirection are effective tools for the VR experience. Meta CEO Meron Gribetz demonstrated the sub-millimeter hand tracking accuracy of his company’s AR HMD. Jared Finder provided an update on the core tech components of Google’s Project Tango. Baobab Studios CEO Maureen Fan discussed the importance of image composition and story beats in VR. Highlights from the show floor included the latest ODG AR glasses and waveguide AR displays from Epson and Lumus. Continue reading AWE 2016 Addresses Rapidly Evolving VR and AR Ecosystem

President Obama Signs Order for New Supercomputer Initiative

President Obama recently signed an executive order, the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI), with the intention of creating the first exaflop supercomputer. This computer would be about 30 times faster than today’s fastest machine, and would be geared toward the development of ongoing scientific and defense research projects. Although the supercomputer would be useful for a vary of governmental projects, many see this initiative as a response to China’s 33.86 petaflop Tianhe-2, now the fastest supercomputer in the world. Continue reading President Obama Signs Order for New Supercomputer Initiative

Transparency for the Web: XRay Tracks Use of Personal Data

In a step toward protecting the personal data of online users, researchers at Columbia University have created new software called XRay that can observe and predict how tech companies are using the personal data that they collect. The software is based on research related to Google’s Gmail ads, Amazon recommendations, and YouTube recommendations. XRay, which will help privacy-concerned watchdogs track how personal data is used, is still in development. Continue reading Transparency for the Web: XRay Tracks Use of Personal Data

Xerox PARC Tests Silicon Chiplets for Micro Manufacturing

The team at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) recently demonstrated a concept in which slivers of silicon, or electronic circuits called “chiplets,” dance around under a microscope until commanded to settle accurately on a pattern of circuit wires — each settling at an exact point of contact. These chiplets are part of a new system Xerox envisions for making electronics that take advantage of the laser printer. Continue reading Xerox PARC Tests Silicon Chiplets for Micro Manufacturing

Next-Gen Music Retrieval: Free Million-Song Dataset Released by Echo Nest

  • The Million Song Dataset has been released for free by The Echo Nest music application company to facilitate research into music recommendation engines. The dataset consists of audio features and metadata (but not the actual music) for a million popular music tracks.
  • Ars Technica reports that the dataset is a “freely-available collection of audio features and metadata for a million contemporary popular music tracks,” being analyzed by Columbia University’s Laboratory for the Recognition and Organization of Speech and Audio.
  • Currently, services like Pandora make use of musicologists to catalog the characteristics of songs. Researchers are looking at methods for computers to analyze songs in order to make recommendations based on your preferences. The dataset could potentially be used to develop a new generation of Music Information Retrieval services.
  • The National Science Foundation is also conducting The Listening Machine Project which is focused on analyzing “the individual sources present in a real-world sound recording,” which could lead to improved perception for robots, new prosthetic devices for hearing impaired and “a wide range of novel applications in content-based multimedia indexing,” explained LMP’s Dan Ellis, associate professor of Electrical Engineering at Columbia.