science + technology news

Software shares out spare processing power

December 21, 2003

The author of SETI@home has created a new system that will make it possible to run several distributed computing projects on a single computer and let you specify what proportion of the computer’s resources is donated to each project.

The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) acts like a software platform that can run a number of screen-saver-style applications on top of the PC’s own operating system. The… read more

Software sorts out subjectivity

November 19, 2004

Cornell University rearchers have devised a way to improve sentiment (author attitude) classification that sidesteps having to deal with meaning by instead concentrating on context. Their method weeds out neutral sentences.

The method could be used to automate the maintenance of review-aggregation sites (to extract ratings for movie reviews, for example), by search engines to sort or filter results by viewpoint, to track changes in attitudes toward a given… read more

Software Taming Gene Data Pool

February 3, 2005

New software is making it easier for researchers to search and pool the massive amount of data generated by microarray technologies — which consist of silicon chips that light up to reveal active genes, allowing researchers to see which genes are being expressed and how.

Software taps power of graphics processors

May 18, 2010

A research team from North Carolina State University has developed compiler software that could make it easier for traditional software programs to take advantage of graphics processing units (GPUs).

They found that standard programs translated by their compiler ran approximately 30 percent more quickly than those optimized by GPU developers.

The CPU from an average computer has about 10 gigaflops of computing power, or 10 billion operations per… read more

Software That Learns by Doing

February 8, 2006

Attempts to create self-improving software date to the 1960s. But machine learning has remained mostly the province of academic researchers, with only a few niche applications in the commercial world, such as speech recognition and credit card fraud detection.

Now, researchers say, better algorithms, more powerful computers and a few clever tricks will move it further into the mainstream.

Software that Learns by Watching

May 19, 2010

KarDo, new software designed by MIT researchers to watch and learn as IT support staff carry out common tasks, could automatically perform the same jobs across different computers.

Software That Learns from Users

November 30, 2007

CALO (“cognitive assistant that learns and organizes”), a massive, four-year-old AI project to help computers understand the intentions of their human users, tries to assist users in three ways: by helping them manage information about key people and projects, by understanding and organizing information from meetings, and by learning and automating routine tasks.

The goal is to build an artificial intelligence that can serve as a personal assistant for… read more

Software That Opens Worlds to the Disabled

December 23, 2008

One computer program would allow vision-impaired shoppers to point their cellphones at supermarket shelves and hear descriptions of products and prices. Another would allow a physically disabled person to guide a computer mouse using brain waves and eye movements.

The two programs were among those created by eight groups of volunteers at a two-day software-writing competition this fall at the University of Southern California, named Project:Possibility.

Software That Organizes Intelligently

December 3, 2007

A soon-to-be-released product called Smart Desktop, from a division of Seattle-based company Pi Corporation, aims to help people sort that information automatically and intelligently, unifying the information into a single view.

Software to construct everything with LEGO pieces

October 7, 2013


Romain Testuz. a student of the Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Geometrics (LGG) at EPFL, has developed software that automatically transforms a three-dimensional image into bricks and simplifies the challenge of construction by proposing a comprehensive plan of the parts to be used at each level.

To overcome structural weaknesses, Testuz used graph theory, representing each piece by a node and each connection by… read more

Software to discover new treatments

November 16, 2004

New treatments for patients could be found by a computer program that can “read” thousands of clinical papers in minutes. Use of this AI software has already resulted in a new treatment for heart disease based on an anti­psychotic drug.

Developed by scientists at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, the IRIDESCENT program uses data-mining techniques to discover potential new uses for existing therapies.

The… read more

Software to Look for Experts Among Your Friends

May 30, 2006

Tacit Software is preparing to introduce an online service, called Illumio, that will make it simple to pick the brains of friends and colleagues for opinions and expertise.

Software tracks proteins inside living cells

June 14, 2006

A computer system, called CellTracker, that automatically tracks the movements of proteins within a living cell has been developed by a team of Manchester University biologists and computer vision experts.

It could save researchers the hours often spent analyzing microscope images by hand to determine the way a cell works and allows for looking at live cells over time.

Software tricks people into thinking it is human

September 7, 2011

Cleverbot has passed the Turing test (or “come very close”), claims its developer, Rollo Carpenter. Cleverbot was voted 59.3 per cent human while humans themselves were rated just 63.3 per cent human at the Techniche festival in Guwahati, India.

As for whether Cleverbot has passed the test, “the claim raises lots of questions about the human participants; for example, had they ever interacted with a chatbot before?” says Huma… read more

Software upgrades to bionic eye enable color recognition, improve resolution, image focus, zooming

August 7, 2013


The first bionic eye to be approved for patients in the U.S. is getting software upgrades.

As KurzweilAI has reported, the FDA-approved Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System from Second Sight Medical Products transmits images from a small, eye-glass-mounted camera wirelessly to a microelectrode array implanted on a patient’s damaged retina.

The array sends electrical signals via the optic nerve, and the brain interprets a visual image.… read more

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