Advertisement Editor’s Picks How Space Telescopes Will Find Earth 2.0 A Reality Check for the World’s Largest Radio Telescope China Unveils World's Largest Single-Dish Radio Telescope Michael E. Brown is often called “the guy who killed Pluto.” But he takes the moniker in stride. Sitting in his sunny Pasadena office at the California Institute of Technology, Brown jokes that Pluto, which was reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006, had it coming. The year before, Brown had discovered Eris, a frosty dwarf in the outer solar system more massive than Pluto and named, fittingly, for the Greek goddess of strife. Brown now has good reason to hope that history will remember him not for the Eris-instigated demotion of Pluto but as codiscoverer of an as yet unseen, true ninth planet—a Neptune-size world so massive that it may have tipped the entire solar system a few degrees sideways. I meet Brown in the late afternoon, shortly after his … [Read more...] about Is There a Giant Planet Lurking Beyond Pluto?
A berkeley view of cloud computing
By Matthew HutsonJul. 19, 2018 , 2:15 PM STOCKHOLM—Last week, here at the International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), a group of researchers described a turtle they had 3D printed. Most people would say it looks just like a turtle, but an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm saw it differently. Most of the time, the AI thought the turtle looked like a rifle. Similarly, it saw a 3D-printed baseball as an espresso. These are examples of "adversarial attacks"—subtly altered images, objects, or sounds that fool AIs without setting off human alarm bells. Impressive advances in AI—particularly machine learning algorithms that can recognize sounds or objects after digesting training data sets—have spurred the growth of living room voice assistants and autonomous cars. But these AIs are surprisingly vulnerable to being spoofed. At the meeting here, adversarial attacks were a hot subject, with researchers reporting novel ways to trick AIs as well as new ways … [Read more...] about A turtle—or a rifle? Hackers easily fool AIs into seeing the wrong thing
The big power-saving effort that kept U.S. data-center power consumption low for the past decade may not keep the lid on much longer. Faced with the possibility that data centers would consume a disastrously large percentage of the world’s power supply, data center owners, and players in the computer, semiconductor, power and cooling industries ramped up effort to improve the efficiency of every aspect of data-center technology. The collective effort was so successful that overall data-center energy consumption rose from 1.5% of all power used in the U.S. in 2007 to just 1.8% in 2016, despite enormous growth in the number of data centers, servers, users and devices involved, according to a 2016 report from the Dept. of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Power used by U.S.-based data centers rose 90% between 2000 and 2005, but only 24% between 2005 and 2010. After that, it increased only 4% per year, according to the LBNL report, which predicted 4% growth … [Read more...] about Data Center Power Poised To Rise
Dawn Song, a Berkeley computer-science professor and MacArthur fellow, is a fan of cloud computing. She also thinks it needs a major rethink. “The cloud and the internet have fundamentally changed our lives mostly for good,” she says. “But they have serious problems with privacy and security—users and companies lose control of their data.” Outsourcing data storage and processing over the internet has given companies new flexibility and consumers the power to hail rides, find dates, and socialize from a slab of glass in their pocket. The same technologies have also enabled data theft, corporate prying on our personal lives, and new forms of election manipulation. Song says her startup, Oasis Labs, can curtail some of those problems with the help of blockchains, the new form of cryptographically secured record-keeping inspired by the digital currency bitcoin. Oasis announced $45 million in funding this week, from a mixture of big Silicon Valley VC funds and … [Read more...] about How a Startup Is Using the Blockchain to Protect Your Privacy
Tech companies are rushing to infuse everything with artificial intelligence, driven by big leaps in the power of machine learning software. But the deep-neural-network software fueling the excitement has a troubling weakness: Making subtle changes to images, text, or audio can fool these systems into perceiving things that aren’t there. That could be a big problem for products dependent on machine learning, particularly for vision, such as self-driving cars. Leading researchers are trying to develop defenses against such attacks—but that’s proving to be a challenge. Case in point: In January, a leading machine-learning conference announced that it had selected 11 new papers to be presented in April that propose ways to defend or detect such adversarial attacks. Just three days later, first-year MIT grad student Anish Athalye threw up a webpage claiming to have “broken” seven of the new papers, including from boldface institutions such as Google, Amazon, … [Read more...] about AI Has a Hallucination Problem That’s Proving Tough to Fix