Learning words from pictures

Learning words from pictures

Software, The Web
MIT researchers have developed a new approach to training speech-recognition systems that doesn’t depend on transcription. Instead, their system analyzes correspondences between images and spoken descriptions of those images, as captured in a large collection of audio recordings. Image: MIT News Speech recognition systems, such as those that convert speech to text on cellphones, are generally the result of machine learning. A computer pores through thousands or even millions of audio files and their transcriptions, and learns which acoustic features correspond to which typed words. But transcribing recordings is costly, time-consuming work, which has limited speech recognition to a small subset of languages spoken in wealthy nations. At the Neural Information Processing Systems conference this week, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) are presenting a new…
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Drone Video Captures Killer Whales Snacking on Shark

Drone Video Captures Killer Whales Snacking on Shark

Uncategorized
 To killer whales, sharks aren’t all that fearsome. They’re more of a snack. A drone pilot recently captured this video of four killer whales — two adults and two juveniles — chowing down on a still-living shark off the coast of California. They appear to be offshore killer whales, a sub-species that usually spends time far from land, making any glimpses of their behavior a rare treat. Photographer Slater Moore shot the video as part of a whale-watching trip in Monterey Bay. He sent the drone aloft after realizing the whales had nabbed some prey and were in the process of eating it. The shark is still obviously alive at the beginning of the video, you can see it attempting to squirm itself loose from the massive jaws of one of the adults. The…
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Helping policy and technology work together

Helping policy and technology work together

Software, The Web, Tips & Tricks
Engineering grad student Keertan Kini is working to strengthen the intersection of policy and technology.   “When you’re part of a community, you want to leave it better than you found it,” says Keertan Kini, an MEng student in the Department of Electrical Engineering, or Course 6. That philosophy has guided Kini throughout his years at MIT, as he works to improve policy both inside and out of MIT. As a member of the Undergraduate Student Advisory Group, former chair of the Course 6 Underground Guide Committee, member of the Internet Policy Research Initiative (IPRI), and of the Advanced Network Architecture group, Kini’s research focus has been in finding ways that technology and policy can work together. As Kini puts it, “there can be unintended consequences when you don’t have…
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Making big data manageable

Making big data manageable

Software
One way to handle big data is to shrink it. If you can identify a small subset of your data set that preserves its salient mathematical relationships, you may be able to perform useful analyses on it that would be prohibitively time consuming on the full set. The methods for creating such “coresets” vary according to application, however. Last week, at the Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the University of Haifa in Israel presented a new coreset-generation technique that’s tailored to a whole family of data analysis tools with applications in natural-language processing, computer vision, signal processing, recommendation systems, weather prediction, finance, and neuroscience, among many others. “These are all very general algorithms that are used in so…
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How video games can help us hack the human brain

How video games can help us hack the human brain

Graphics, Hardware
Examining the brain in real-time Technology is really a marvel. So often, as new advances come out that allow us to do things that were thought impossible in the past, we hear the phrase "The future is now." Popular Science and XPRIZE are teaming up to explore and explain technologies like these in a video series called Future First. Episode thirteen of Future First is titled "Brain Hacking With Video Games." In it, we take a look at how new technologies—including virtual reality—help us to track activity within the human brain in real time, how different experiences affect different parts of the brain, and how we can use that information to further our knowledge of the mind. Helping to lead the discussion is Adam Gazzaley, MD, PhD., director of the…
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How Intel Makes a Chip

How Intel Makes a Chip

Business, Tips & Tricks
The development of a microprocessor is one of the riskiest, costliest, and most technically complex feats in business. Inside Intel's Chip Factory Before entering the cleanroom in D1D, as Intel calls its 17 million-cubic-foot microprocessor factory in Hillsboro, Oregon, it’s a good idea to carefully wash your hands and face. You should probably also empty your bladder. There are no bathrooms in the cleanroom. Makeup, perfume, and cosmetics are forbidden. Writing instruments are allowed, as long as they’re special sterile pens; paper, which sheds microscopic particles, is absolutely banned. If you want to write on something, you’ll have to use what is known in the industry as “high-performance documentation material,” a paperlike product that doesn’t release fibers. After you put on a hairnet, your next stop is the gowning station,…
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5 “Star Wars” Food Gifts Any Kitchen Jedi Would Love

5 “Star Wars” Food Gifts Any Kitchen Jedi Would Love

Uncategorized
Love them, you will. If you love Star Wars—like, can quote every movie from memory and still come up with a solid defense for Hayden Christensen's role as teen-angst Anakin Skywalker—you better believe you'll be inundated with all kinds of George Lucas-approved presents this holiday season. With all that's out there (and some of it's truly out there), it can be easy for a Rogue One to go off the rails, getting you the kind of gift they'll expect to see proudly displayed in your home ... that you really, truly wish they didn't buy you. Nudge them away from the dark side with these awesomely geeky gifts for your kitchen. 1. Death Star Waffle Maker Just like the Death Star was destroyed in a single shot, you'll devour these…
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Cheat sheet! Microsoft releases printable Windows 10 key shortcut list

Software, Tips & Tricks
Jared Newman | @onejarednewman PCWorld How well do you know your Windows key shortcuts in Windows 10? If you need a cheat sheet, Microsoft has just published one that you can download and print.While Microsoft already offers online documentation on keyboard shortcuts, the format of the page can be difficult to sift through. Fortunately, Microsoft now offers an offline version in Word .DOCX format. (Hat tip to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley for spotting it.)There are 42 shortcuts in total, mostly dealing with window management, the Start menu, the Task view, and Cortana. Keep in mind the list only includes Windows key shortcuts, not shortcuts involving Ctrl or Alt. But Microsoft didn’t do a great job formatting its new document. The gigantic header takes up half of the first page, splitting the…
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