Month: October 2016

MIT's Nightmare Machine Churns Out AI-Generated Horror

In honor of Halloween, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab launched the Nightmare Machine website, which allows visitors to vote on AI-generated horror images created via an open source deep neural network algorithm developed last year. Scientists from the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization collaborated on the project. The Nightmare Machine features some 200,000 images of normal human faces the researchers fed into the neural...

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Apple vs. Microsoft: Remixing the Magic

It’s strange that most people can look at two companies, see the difference in their performance, and not learn the fundamental lesson. Microsoft and Apple are cases in point, because Apple was very successful under the initial founders, then was unsuccessful after the founders left, was successful again when Jobs came back, and now is struggling without him. Microsoft was very successful under Gates, struggled when Gates left, and is successful again now that it is run by someone very much like...

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Bot Armies Boost Candidates' Popularity on Twitter

Internet bots have many useful online purposes, but they have a dark side, too, as three researchers demonstrated in their analysis of Twitter traffic during the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Bots are used to automate functions on the Net. For example, if you belong to several social networks, you could use a bot to post a photo to all of them at once, saving the time of logging onto each network. What the researchers found was that bots also can be used to amplify support on...

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Microsoft Open Sources AI Toolkit

Microsoft this week released an updated version of its Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit as an open source Beta. The deep learning system is used to speed advances in areas such as speech and image recognition and search relevance on CPUs and Nvidia GPUs. It also works with Microsoft’s Azure GPU offering. The Microsoft computer scientists who developed the toolkit initially were looking for a tool to speed up and improve their own research. It morphed into an offering capable of taking on a wide variety of deep learning...

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Apple Brings a Surprising Touch to MacBook Event

Apple on Thursday unveiled two new MacBook Pro laptops, adding a touch more power to the line. Both the new 13-inch and 15-inch models will be offered in silver and space gray. They have a Touch Bar that replaces the row of function keys found on laptops, as well as a Touch ID fingerprint scanner incorporated into the power button. They sport a Force Touch trackpad that’s twice the size of the trackpad in previous models. The new 13-inch MacBook Pro is 17 percent thinner than its predecessor. It’s also smaller, and it weighs half a pound less than...

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