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CSAIL


Hyper-realistic virtual worlds have been heralded as the best driving schools for autonomous vehicles (AVs), since they’ve proven fruitful test beds for safely trying out dangerous driving scenarios. Tesla, Waymo, and other self-driving companies all rely heavily on data to enable expensive and proprietary photorealistic simulators, since testing and gathering nuanced I-almost-crashed data usually isn’t …

Upon looking at photographs and drawing on their past experiences, humans can often perceive depth in pictures that are, themselves, perfectly flat. However, getting computers to do the same thing has proved quite challenging. The problem is difficult for several reasons, one being that information is inevitably lost when a scene that takes place in …

William Shakespeare might have been talking about Apple’s recently released M1 chip via his prose in “A Midnight Summer’s Dream”: “And though she be but little, she is fierce.” The company’s software runs on the little squares made of custom silicon systems, resulting in Apple’s most powerful chip to date, with industry-leading power efficiency. Yet despite …

Malicious agents can use machine learning to launch powerful attacks that steal information in ways that are tough to prevent and often even more difficult to study. Attackers can capture data that “leaks” between software programs running on the same computer. They then use machine-learning algorithms to decode those signals, which enables them to obtain …

  Researchers have pioneered a technique that can dramatically accelerate certain types of computer programs automatically, while ensuring program results remain accurate. Their system boosts the speeds of programs that run in the Unix shell, a ubiquitous programming environment created 50 years ago that is still widely used today. Their method parallelizes these programs, which …

The miseducation of algorithms is a critical problem; when artificial intelligence mirrors unconscious thoughts, racism, and biases of the humans who generated these algorithms, it can lead to serious harm. Computer programs, for example, have wrongly flagged Black defendants as twice as likely to reoffend as someone who’s white. When an AI used cost as a proxy for health …

An autonomous spacecraft exploring the far-flung regions of the universe descends through the atmosphere of a remote exoplanet. The vehicle, and the researchers who programmed it, don’t know much about this environment.   With so much uncertainty, how can the spacecraft plot a trajectory that will keep it from being squashed by some randomly moving …

With e-commerce orders pouring in, a warehouse robot picks mugs off a shelf and places them into boxes for shipping. Everything is humming along, until the warehouse processes a change and the robot must now grasp taller, narrower mugs that are stored upside down. Reprogramming that robot involves hand-labeling thousands of images that show it …

Modern machine-learning models, such as neural networks, are often referred to as “black boxes” because they are so complex that even the researchers who design them can’t fully understand how they make predictions. To provide some insights, researchers use explanation methods that seek to describe individual model decisions. For example, they may highlight words in …

Humans observe the world through a combination of different modalities, like vision, hearing, and our understanding of language. Machines, on the other hand, interpret the world through data that algorithms can process. So, when a machine “sees” a photo, it must encode that photo into data it can use to perform a task like image …