You may not notice it — at least not as much as you notice when you smile sarcastically — but you smile when you’re frustrated. It’s more like a surprised grimace than a happy grin, but the difference is subtle. So subtle that humans can hardly detect it, actually — but a computer can. New research with smile-detection could help people interpret others’ expressions, including people with autism, according to scientists at MIT.
Add one more item to the list of things machines can do better than humans: Examine and diagnose breast cancer. Stanford researchers have developed new software that can automatically evaluate microscopic images of breast cancer and make determinations about its aggressiveness and type, offering patients an accurate prognosis. It's more accurate than a human doctor, as it turns out.
The system brings cancer pathology, which has largely been unchanged since the Great Depression, firmly into the 21st century.
Using a learning algorithm, Italian researchers taught a child-like humanoid robot archery, even outfitting it with a spectacular headdress to celebrate its new skill.
Petar Kormushev, Sylvain Calinon and Ryo Saegusa of the Italian Institute of Technology developed an algorithm called “Archer,” for Augmented Reward Chained Regression. The iCub robot is taught how to hold the bow and arrow, but then learns by itself how to aim and shoot the arrow so it hits the center of a target.
A team of former rivals has officially won the competition to improve Netflix movie recommendations. The collaborative known as BellKor's Pragmatic Chaos took home a $1-million prize today for their winning submission from July 26, which beat out yet another rival team's matching submission by just 20 minutes.
Moving computing from the desktop to the 24/7 data centers of the "cloud" may be the way forward (just ask Google), but it will come with a hefty energy price. Teams at MIT and Carnegie Mellon University, however, are developing a smart algorithm that could reroute Internet traffic to where energy is cheapest at any given moment, potentially saving millions of dollars in energy usage.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.