A team of researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), along with some folks from McKinsey, recently succeeded in implementing machine learning to instruct computers on how to pick up on various emotional passages in movies.

In a McKinsey blog post, the team noted, “We developed machine-learning models that rely on deep neural networks to ‘watch’ small slices of video—movies, TV, and short online features—and estimate their positive or negative emotional content by the second.”

As a result, the blog post says, "Computers don’t cry during sad stories, but they can tell when we will."

The team cites the screening of a film, "Sunspring," written by an artificial-intelligence (AI) bot and screened at the SCI-FI LONDON film fest in 2016. The fact that a bot penned the script seems to have been the main draw of the flick -- and not necessarily because bots are poised to replace human screenwriters anytime soon.

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Surgical procedures can be extremely invasive, requiring patients to undergo anesthesia and spend weeks or months recovering. But new technology could make surgeries easier for both patients and medical professionals.

Using an accordion-shaped robot in capsule form, a team at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory believe surgeons can conduct surgeries without cutting into a patient. Doctors would generate a magnetic field that would allow them to move the robot inside the patient. The patient would merely take the pill, then wait for it to dissolve, at which point the robot would use origami-type technology to expand to 35 mm by 17 mm by 7.6 mm. Currently, the technique would be ideal for removing swallowed objects or getting medication to an internal wound.

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Tuesday, 12 July 2016 00:00

Turning Machines into Crystal Balls

People have long relied on their instincts to anticipate the behavior of others. One such thought process might go like this: "Is now a good time to extend my arm for a handshake? Should I be the first to do so, since it looks like the other person is preparing for that, and I'd like to remain 'in charge' of this interaction by being the first to initiate action?"

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently announced that they have made a breakthrough discovery in what's known as predictive vision, or the ability to anticipate interactions. A computer system powered by an algorithm "can predict whether two individuals will hug, kiss, shake hands or slap five. In a second scenario, it could also anticipate what object is likely to appear in a video five seconds later," says a press release.

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