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Estimating the informativeness of data

Not all data are created equal. But how much information is any piece of data likely to contain? This question is central to medical testing, designing scientific experiments, and even to everyday human learning and thinking. MIT researchers have developed a...

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A one-up on motion capture

From “Star Wars” to “Happy Feet,” many beloved films contain scenes that were made possible by motion capture technology, which records movement of objects or people through video. Further, applications for this tracking, which involve complicated interactions...

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Robots dress humans without the full picture

Robots are already adept at certain things, such as lifting objects that are too heavy or cumbersome for people to manage. Another application they’re well suited for is the precision assembly of items like watches that have large numbers of tiny parts — some...

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Design’s new frontier

In the 1960s, the advent of computer-aided design (CAD) sparked a revolution in design. For his PhD thesis in 1963, MIT Professor Ivan Sutherland developed Sketchpad, a game-changing software program that enabled users to draw, move, and resize shapes on a...

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The downside of machine learning in health care

While working toward her dissertation in computer science at MIT, Marzyeh Ghassemi wrote several papers on how machine-learning techniques from artificial intelligence could be applied to clinical data in order to predict patient outcomes. “It wasn’t until the...

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Nonsense can make sense to machine-learning models

For all that neural networks can accomplish, we still don’t really understand how they operate. Sure, we can program them to learn, but making sense of a machine’s decision-making process remains much like a fancy puzzle with a dizzying, complex pattern where...

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