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Computer Science

Art for "Machine Learning Confronts the Elephant in the Room"
artificial intelligence

Machine Learning Confronts the Elephant in the Room

September 20, 2018

A visual prank exposes an Achilles’ heel of computer vision systems: Unlike humans, they can’t do a double take.

Art for "New AI Strategy Mimics How Brains Learn to Smell"
artificial intelligence

New AI Strategy Mimics How Brains Learn to Smell

September 18, 2018

Machine learning techniques are commonly based on how the visual system processes information. To beat their limitations, scientists are drawing inspiration from the sense of smell.

Illustration of a bunny hiding around a corner
algorithms

The New Science of Seeing Around Corners

August 30, 2018

Computer vision researchers have uncovered a world of visual signals hiding in our midst, including subtle motions that betray what’s being said and faint images of what’s around a corner.

algorithms

Universal Method to Sort Complex Information Found

August 13, 2018

The nearest neighbor problem asks where a new point fits into an existing data set. A few researchers set out to prove that there was no universal way to solve it. Instead, they found such a way.

Photo illustration of Constantinos Daskalakis
2018 Fields Medal and Nevanlinna Prize

A Poet of Computation Who Uncovers Distant Truths

August 1, 2018

The theoretical computer scientist Constantinos Daskalakis has won the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize for explicating core questions in game theory and machine learning.

Art for "Major Quantum Computing Advance Made Obsolete by Teenager"
quantum computing

Major Quantum Computing Advance Made Obsolete by Teenager

July 31, 2018

18-year-old Ewin Tang has proven that classical computers can solve the “recommendation problem” nearly as fast as quantum computers. The result eliminates one of the best examples of quantum speedup.

Diagram showing show the hierarchy of different classes.
Abstractions blog

A Short Guide to Hard Problems

July 16, 2018

What’s easy for a computer to do, and what’s almost impossible? Those questions form the core of computational complexity. We present a map of the landscape.

Illustration for "Finally, A Problem That Only Quantum Computers Will Ever Be Able to Solve"
computational complexity

Finally, a Problem That Only Quantum Computers Will Ever Be Able to Solve

June 21, 2018

Computer scientists have been searching for years for a type of problem that a quantum computer can solve but that any possible future classical computer cannot. Now they’ve found one.

Art for "A Classical Math Problem Gets Pulled Into the Modern World"
algorithms

A Classical Math Problem Gets Pulled Into the Modern World

May 23, 2018

A century ago, the great mathematician David Hilbert posed a probing question in pure mathematics. A recent advance in optimization theory is bringing Hilbert’s work into a world of self-driving cars.