Current Computer News and Events

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Scientists' discovery is paving the way for novel ultrafast quantum computers
Scientists at the Institute of Physics of the University of Tartu have found a way to develop optical quantum computers of a new type. Central to the discovery are rare earth ions that have certain characteristics and can act as quantum bits. These would give quantum computers ultrafast computation speed and better reliability compared to earlier solutions. The University of Tartu researchers Vladimir Hizhnyakov, Vadim Boltrushko, Helle Kaasik and Yurii Orlovskii published the results of their research in the scientific journal Optics Communications. (2021-01-15)

DUAL takes AI to the next level
Scientists at DGIST in Korea, and UC Irvine and UC San Diego in the US, have developed a computer architecture that processes unsupervised machine learning algorithms faster, while consuming significantly less energy than state-of-the-art graphics processing units. The key is processing data where it is stored in computer memory and in an all-digital format. The researchers presented the new architecture, called DUAL, at the 2020 53rd Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture. (2020-12-30)

Tiny quantum computer solves real optimisation problem
Quantum computers have already managed to surpass ordinary computers in solving certain tasks - unfortunately, totally useless ones. The next milestone is to get them to do useful things. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have now shown that they can solve a small part of a real logistics problem with their small, but well-functioning quantum computer. (2020-12-17)

To the brain, reading computer code is not the same as reading language
MIT neuroscientists have found reading computer code does not rely on the regions of the brain involved in language processing. Instead, it activates the ''multiple demand network,'' which is also recruited for complex cognitive tasks such as solving math problems or crossword puzzles. (2020-12-15)

RUDN University mathematicians applied 19th century ideas to modern computerized algebra systems
A team of mathematicians from RUDN University added new symbolic integration functionality to the Sage computerized algebra system. The team implemented ideas and methods suggested by the German mathematician Karl Weierstrass in the 1870s. (2020-11-25)

Computer vision predicts congenital adrenal hyperplasia
Using computer vision, researchers have discovered strong correlations between facial morphology and congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), a life-threatening genetic condition of the adrenal glands and one of the most common forms of adrenal insufficiency in children. The findings could have implications for phenotyping and treating patients with CAH. (2020-11-18)

Facing up to the reality of politicians' Instagram posts
A University of Georgia researcher used computer vision to analyze thousands of images from over 100 Instagram accounts of United States politicians and discovered posts that showed politicians' faces in nonpolitical settings increased audience engagement over traditional posts such as politicians in professional or political settings. (2020-10-29)

Wearable IT devices: Dyeing process gives textiles electronic properties
Whether in fitness, medicine or in the entertainment industry, IT devices worn on the body, such as smart watches, are becoming increasingly popular. Such wearables benefit from the input device fitting as naturally as possible to the body - for example as electro-sensitive fabrics, so-called e-textiles. (2020-10-13)

Are brain-computer interface spellers secure?
Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs), which aim to construct a pathway for people to interact with computers directly by thought, have received great attention in recent years. An electroencephalogram-based BCI speller, which allows the user to input text to computer using brain signals, is one of the most popular BCI systems. However, researchers in China show that these BCI spellers can be easily attacked, exposing a critical security concern in EEG-based BCI systems. (2020-10-03)

A computer predicts your thoughts, creating images based on them
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have developed a technique in which a computer models visual perception by monitoring human brain signals. In a way, it is as if the computer tries to imagine what a human is thinking about. As a result of this imagining, the computer is able to produce entirely new information, such as fictional images that were never before seen. The technique is based on a novel brain-computer interface. (2020-09-21)

New data processing module makes deep neural networks smarter
Artificial intelligence researchers have improved the performance of deep neural networks by combining feature normalization and feature attention modules into a single module that they call attentive normalization. The hybrid module improves the accuracy of the system significantly, while using negligible extra computational power. (2020-09-16)

New method prevents quantum computers from crashing
Quantum information is fragile, which is why quantum computers must be able to correct errors. But what if whole qubits are lost? Researchers at the University of Innsbruck, in collaboration with RWTH Aachen University and University of Bologna, are now presenting a method in the journal Nature that allows quantum computers to keep going even if they lose some qubits along the way. (2020-09-09)

Tool transforms world landmark photos into 4D experiences
Using publicly available tourist photos of world landmarks such as the Trevi Fountain in Rome or Top of the Rock in New York City, Cornell University researchers have developed a method to create maneuverable 3D images that show changes in appearance over time. (2020-09-08)

Quantum algorithm proposed to solve Dyck language problems
In the paper, Khadiev and his colleagues demonstrated an algorithm that can solve the problem in 40 seconds and also proved that it cannot be solved in less than 10 second on a quantum computer. (2020-09-04)

Predictive placentas: Using artificial intelligence to protect mothers' future pregnancies
After a baby is born, doctors sometimes examine the placenta for features that indicate health risks in any future pregnancies. Most placentas go unexamined after the birth. A team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) report the development of a machine learning approach to examine placenta slides in The American Journal of Pathology so more women can be informed of their health risks. (2020-09-02)

Sussex study enables predicting computational power of early quantum computers
University of Sussex quantum physicists have developed an algorithm which helps early quantum computers to perform calculations most efficiently (2020-08-24)

How thoughts could one day control electronic prostheses, wirelessly
The current generation of neural implants record enormous amounts of neural activity, then transmit these brain signals through wires to a computer. But, so far, when researchers have tried to create wireless brain-computer interfaces to do this, it took so much power to transmit the data that the implants generated too much heat to be safe for the patient. A new study suggests how to solve his problem -- and thus cut the wires. (2020-08-04)

UVA pioneers study of genetic diseases with quantum computing
Scientists are harnessing the mind-bending potential of quantum computers to help us understand genetic diseases - even before quantum computers are a thing. (2020-07-22)

Parasite infestations revealed by tiny chicken backpacks
Blood-feeding livestock mites can be detected with wearable sensor technology nicknamed ''Fitbits for chickens.'' To help farmers detect mite infestations, a team of entomologists, computer scientists, and biologists led by UC Riverside entomologist Amy Murillo has created a new insect detection system. (2020-07-13)

Science fiction becomes fact -- Teleportation helps to create live musical performance
A new study by the University of Plymouth explains for the first time how quantum supercomputers could be helpful in the world of making and performing music (2020-07-02)

The first intuitive programming language for quantum computers
Several technical advances have been achieved recently in the pursuit of powerful quantum computers. Now, Computer scientists from ETH Zurich have made an important breakthrough in the field of programming languages: their quantum language is the first of its kind that is as elegant, simple and safe as classical computer languages. (2020-06-15)

Artificial intelligence makes blurry faces look more than 60 times sharper
Researchers have developed an AI tool that can turn blurry faces into eerily convincing computer-generated portraits, in finer detail than ever before. Previous methods can scale an image to eight times its original resolution. But a Duke team has come up with a way to take a handful of pixels and create realistic-looking faces with up to 64 times the resolution, 'imagining' features such as eyelashes and stubble that weren't there in the first place. (2020-06-12)

Angling for underwater WiFi
Scuba divers could send sea life shots in real time using an aquatic internet service. (2020-06-11)

Silicon 'neurons' may add a new dimension to computer processors
Research from the McKelvey School of Engineering shows that energy constraints on a system, coupled with an intrinsic property of systems, push silicon neurons to create a dynamic, at-a-distance communication that is more robust and efficient than traditional computer processors. And it may teach us something about biological brains. (2020-06-04)

Carnegie Mellon tool automatically turns math into pictures
Some people look at an equation and see a bunch of numbers and symbols; others see beauty. Thanks to a new tool created at Carnegie Mellon University, anyone can now translate the abstractions of mathematics into beautiful and instructive illustrations. The tool enables users to create diagrams simply by typing an ordinary mathematical expression and letting the software do the drawing. (2020-06-02)

Supercomputer model simulations reveal cause of Neanderthal extinction
IBS climate scientists discover that according to new supercomputer model simulations, only competition between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens can explain the rapid demise of Neanderthals around 43 to 38 thousand years ago. (2020-05-20)

Model of critical infrastructures reveals vulnerabilities
An interdisciplinary team of Kansas State University researchers developed a computer simulation that revealed beef supply chain vulnerabilities that need safeguarding -- a realistic concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. (2020-05-15)

New AI enables teachers to rapidly develop intelligent tutoring systems
Intelligent tutoring systems have been shown to be effective in helping to teach certain subjects, such as algebra or grammar, but creating these computerized systems is difficult and laborious. Now, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have shown they can rapidly build them by, in effect, teaching the computer to teach. (2020-04-30)

New algorithm to help process biological images
Skoltech researchers have presented a new biological image processing method that accurately picks out specific biological objects in complex images. Their results will be presented as an oral talk at the high-profile computer vision conference, CVPR 2020. (2020-04-21)

Mind over body: The search for stronger brain-computer interfaces
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University are working on understanding how the brain works when learning tasks with the help of brain-computer interface technology. In a set of papers, the second of which was published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, the team is moving the needle forward on brain-computer interface technology intended to help improve the lives of amputee patients who use neural prosthetics. (2020-04-20)

Speeding-up quantum computing using giant atomic ions
An international team of researchers have found a new way to speed up quantum computing that could pave the way for huge leaps forward in computer processing power. (2020-04-15)

Intel processors are still vulnerable to attack
Computer scientists at KU Leuven have once again exposed a security flaw in Intel processors. Jo Van Bulck, Frank Piessens, and their colleagues in Austria, the United States, and Australia gave the manufacturer one year's time to fix the problem. (2020-03-10)

Computer scientists' new tool fools hackers into sharing keys for better cybersecurity
Instead of blocking hackers, a new cybersecurity defense approach developed by University of Texas at Dallas computer scientists actually welcomes them. The method, called DEEP-Dig (DEcEPtion DIGging), ushers intruders into a decoy site so the computer can learn from hackers' tactics. The information is then used to train the computer to recognize and stop future attacks. (2020-02-27)

Computer servers now able to retrieve data much faster
Computer scientists at the University of Waterloo have found a novel approach that significantly improves the storage efficiency and output speed of computer systems. (2020-01-30)

The way you dance is unique, and computers can tell it's you
Nearly everyone responds to music with movement, whether through subtle toe-tapping or an all-out boogie. A recent discovery shows that our dance style is almost always the same, regardless of the type of music, and a computer can identify the dancer with astounding accuracy. (2020-01-17)

AlphaZero learns to rule the quantum world
The chess world was amazed when the computer algorithm AlphaZero learned, after just four hours on its own, to beat the best chess programs built on human expertise. Now a research group at Aarhus University in Denmark has used the very same algorithm to control a quantum computer. (2020-01-16)

Smart algorithm finds possible future treatment for childhood cancer
Using a computer algorithm, scientists at Uppsala University have identified a promising new treatment for neuroblastoma. This form of cancer in children, which occurs in specialised nerve cells in the sympathetic nervous system, may be life-threatening. In the long term the discovery, described in the latest issue of the scientific journal Nature Communications, may result in a new form of treatment for children in whom the disease is severe or at an advanced stage. (2020-01-07)

Artificial intelligence as behavioral analyst
Computer algorithms disassemble prey capture behavior of zebrafish into its components. (2019-12-20)

A person's perception of risk can tell us about their chances of opioid relapse
People in treatment for opioid addiction are more likely to relapse when they become more tolerant of risks, according to a study by Rutgers and other institutions. The findings can help clinicians better predict which patients are most vulnerable. (2019-12-08)

Water animation gets easier thanks to BYU professors
A team of computer science professors at BYU created a method to quickly resize animations of fluids without having to completely re-simulate the entire sequence. (2019-12-05)

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